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T O 

O N E S I M U S; 


The Subjeds of CHRIST'S ATONEMENT and 

By W I L L I A M L A I N G. V. D. M. 

JVho gave himfelf for us, that he might redeem us from 
all iniquity, and purify to him/elf a peculiar people, zea~ 
bus of good wzrks. Titus ii. 14. 

-Thou art the Son of God, thou art the King of 

Ifrael. John i. 49. 

Chfiflus tradidit. Quod autem ? Semetipfum. Pro quo ? 
Pro nobis. Quomodo ? Oblationem & Vi&imam. 

Cbrijiiani Becmani exercit. 

Quifquis amot Giam falutem, is debi«- Chriftum amare, illi ere- 
dere> & totam m co fid uciam collocarc. 

Hieron Zancbius de Sri bus Elobim. 


AT E W R T: 
Printed by D. CARPENTER, M,DCC,XCI. 

I it* •*w*' 25 •»»««' IS "*uer k* * 

R E F A C E. 

IT is a duty incumbent on all that name the name of Jefus t 
to contend earneftly for the faith once delivered to the Saints. 
We will not find within thecompaf: of divine revelation, a 
more odious character given of any church, than is given of 
the church ofLaodicea; or a more awful judgment threatened. 
I know thy works that thou art neither cold nor hot, I would thou 
wert either cold or hot ; fo then becaufe thou art lukewarm, and 
neither cold nor hot, I will fpew thee out of my mouth * Thefe 
Laodiceans had not returned to their ancient folly, in doing fer* 
vice to them who are by nature no Gods; but at the fame time, 
they had little more ol Chriitiamty than the mere name. They 
wanted one particular ingredient ;n the Chriftian character, zeal. 
There is no profecuting our religious profcffion to God's glory, 
or our own comfort, without adue ienfe of the importance of Di- 
vine truth; and wherever aduejenfe of this is lmorefTed on the 
mind, it will natively lead out to a ftxenuous contention for the 
prefervation of every article of divine Revelation. It mull be 
matter of lamentation to every generous Chriftian, to fee (o much 
of a Latitudinarian, and lukewarm fpirit prevailing and gaining 
ground in every religious foe; ety, at this day. 

There is a certain maxim almoft univerfally prevalent in this 
age, viz. no matter what a man's protemon be, if his practice is 
good. If this be true, our Martyrs were all fools who fhed theif 

* Rev. iii. dk \$, 16. ver. 

ii PRE F ACE. 

blood for the tcftimony of Jefus; all exhortarions to fledfaftnefs 
in the faith, once delivered to the Saints; to have our loins girt 
About with truth ; to be ftedfalt, immoveable, &c. are to no pur- 
pofe. But have our religious principles no influence on our fu- 
ture falvation ; will God fave men, let their belief be what it 
will ? If this be true, Paul the inlpirrd apoftle cf the Gentiles, 
blight have fpared his pains in writing to the Galatian converts, 
to bring them back to the purity of theGofpel preached by him, 
but relinquished by them, through the influence of certain ju- 
oaizing teachers, who had perverted their minds with regard to 
the great capital Article of the juftifkation of a Tinner, in the 
fight of God by faith, without the deeds of the law. Why doth 
the apoftle Peter, call certain errors from the truth damnable 
herefics ? Why doth our Lord fpeak of falfe Chrifts, and faife 
Prophet?, who fhould arjfe, and if poffible, deceive the very elect ? 
The plain matter of fact is, truth is but one, as God is one, 
and every deviation from the truth, mud be as odious in his fight, 
as an error in practice. " To the law, and to the teflimony, 
if they fpeak not according to this word, it is becaufe there is no 
light in them." But it may eafily be made appear, what a vafl: 
influence our religious profeflion and principles, will have on our 
practice, either to render it good, or bad, acceptable, or unaccep- 
table in God's fight : For inftance, if it be an article of our creed, 
that Jefus Chiift the Son of God is not equal with the Father, 
and lb, not poffefled of thofe efTential perfections of Deity, which 
conflitute the formal reafon of all our religious fervkes, we are 
guilty of idolatry, if we pay him any religious homage, becaufe 
we addrefs an object, that is not a God by nature ; in which con- 
fids the very effence of idolatry. Again, if the juftifkation of a 
finner in the fight of God, is founded entirely on the righteouf- 
nefs of the Son of God imputed to us, and received by faith alone ; 
and yet, we go the round of all our religious lervices with this 
view, that God may accept us, either in whole, or in part for 
onr works fake; it follows of courfe therefore, that none of all 
r ur idigious fervkes can be acceptable to God, becaufe perform- 
ed with a view to obtain that which God hath never promifed. 
Let no man therefore account it a matter of indifference, what 
Kis proleflion and principles are, if he but thinks his practice is 


It may be here afked, what is underftood by a good practice ? 
Kmv (bangely is the world divided on this head; how widely 
diffcient re the ideas which men entertain of a good converfati- 
on ? Some confine their religious moral conduct, within thefe 
narrow limits; if they are honeft, holpitable, living in peace 
with all men, without injuring any; this mode of conduct en- 



grofies the all of their religious character. Others again, from a 
certain innate propensity and difpofition of heart, are merciful, 
companionate and generous; their hand is never fhut, when the 
neceftities of the poor and needy call for relief; this is laid as the 
bafis, and ground work of their acceptance with the Almighty. 
Others again, circumscribe their moral conduct, within the nar- 
row circle of a few religious duties, inculcated by God's word, 
and neglect thofe relative duties, which they owe to their fellow 
creatures. A good practice and converfation includes in it, a 
confcientious regard to the whole moral law; a religious man, 
has a refpect to all God's commandments : This refpect and re- 
gard, flows from a heart purified by faith, and renewed by the 
Holy Ghoft, and particularly influenced to the practice of every 
moral virtue, from a fenfe of the love of Chrift (hed abroad in the 
heart. " The love of Chrift (fays Paul,) conftraincth us." Let 
no man boaftof a ;Tood converfation, whofe conduct is not uni- 
form. What although we never ihould injure our neighbour, 
yet if we can deliberately, and prefumptuoufly, profane God'b 
name, and pollute his Sabbaths, can we in this cafe lay any claim 
to this moil: honourable title, fons of God. Again let us pray, 
and fad, let no filthy communication ever proeed out of our 
mouth, yet if we can, when occafion, offers, cher.t and defraud 
our Neighbour, we are in the fame predicament with the others 
above fp?cified. A truly religious man, will not neglect the du- 
ties he owes, either to God, or his fellow creatures. He will not 
willingly either injure his Neighbour, or provoke his Maker. A 
good converfation mud always be founded upon the Scriptures; 
thefe muft be the rules of our conduct, as well as of our faith. 
The fcriptures define a religious practice thus, " a walking in 
all the commandments, and ordinances of the Lord blamelefs." 
It feems to be an evil prevalent in our day, and a moil igno- 
ble trait in our character, ignorance of the Scriptures. For 
want of a fcriptural knowledge, there is fcarce an opinion that 
can be broached, however oppofite to divine revelation but what 
finds abettors. We feem to be of a quite different itamp, from 
the noble Bereans, who would take nothing on truft; ignorant 
of the Doctrine of implicit faith, they fearched the Scriptures 
daily, to fee whether thofe things which the Apoftles taught 
were confonant to God's revealed will or not. Our attachment to 
a party, is not fo much owing to a thorough conviction anfing 
from a fcriptural enquiry, as tofome other low unworthy motive, 
fuch as, our forefathers were attached to this mode of profemon, 
and why mould not we. " I gave them the great things of my 
law, and they accounted them itrange things." A heavy com- 
plaint indeed. 

B 2 It 


It lias been, and dill is one of the principal ftratagems 'of Satan, 
cither to keep men in ignorance, or pervert their minds with re- 
gard to the great and leading articles of our holy religion. To 
blind he minds of men, how is it porTihle ? \V e pretend hot to 
define the manner, in which he draws the veil over th< human 
mind, but that he doth Co, is an incontroverted fact. The fpirit 
d mthorizes the afferiion, proves the pofition. 2 Cor. 4. 
4. In whom the God of this world bath blinded the minds of 
them which believe not, Icil the light or' the glorious Goipel of 
Chrift, who is the image* or God mould-mine unto them. 

it was hut a very fliort period after our Lord's afcenfion, when 
one of the capital articles of our holy religion was impugned, 
and blafphemouily denied by Cerinthus. viz. the fupreme De- 
ity of tlie Son of God. A^ainft this heretic the beloved apolllc 
John wrote his Gofpel, in which he proves in the cleareft man- 
ner, the divinity of his and our Lord. Deftroy this fundamen- 
tal truth, and where, or how are we to build for eternity ? 

Various efforts have been made, and are (till making to rob 
Chrift of his eternal and efTential Glory, and to '.ubvert the foun- 
dation of our faith, hope, and comfort : But we have all the cer- 
tainty that the fcriptures of truth can afford, to believe that while 
Sun and Moon endure, there will remain a feed to affbrt his na- 
tural, and efTential right to Deity. 

Accoidingto a very learned, and ingenuous Hiftorian, * the 
opinion of Cerinthus concerning Chrift: was as follows, he taught 
" that the Creator of this world, whom he confidered alfo ai 
u the Sovereign and Lawgiver of the Jewifh people, was a be- 
i{ ing endue 1 with the greateft virtues, and derived his birth 
" from the Supreme God ; that this being ft\\, by degrees, from 
M his native virtue, and his primitive dignity; that the Sufreme 
" God, in confequence of this, determined to deftroy his cm- 
pire, and lent upon earth, for this purpofe one oi the ever- 
happy and glorious Mons, whole name was Chrift ; that this 
Chrift chole for his habitation, the perfon of Jefus, a man of 
the mod illuftrious fanclity and juftice, the fon of Jofeph and 
y, and defcending in the form of a Dove, entered into 
" him, while he was receiving the Baptifm of John in the wa- 
ters of Jordan ; that Jefus after his union with Chrift, oppo r ed 
himlell with vigour to the God of the Jews, and was, by his 
in (ligation, feized and crucified by the Hebrew Chiefs; that 
when Jefus was taken captive, ChrilT: afcended up on high, 
fo that the man Jefus alone was fubjecled to the pains of an 
t( ignominious death." What a Grange unintelligible fyftem ! 
The intention of this monftrous do&rine, was to reduce the Son 

* Dr. Moflieim, Vol. I, page no. 


of God upon a level vith created beings, and dived him, (if 
poflible) of his uncreated Glory. 

ccordihg to the fame Author, the doctrine of three perfons 
in the Godhead, kindled no flame, begot no div (ions in the 
C^riflhan Church arter Cerinthus, for the fpace of three hundred 
years, until Ariu- arofe; who maintained, that the Son was to- 
tally, and eiTentially diflin£r> from the Father; that he was the 
firft, and nobleft o( thee beings, which G^d t' n e Father had cre- 
ated outvof nothing; the inftrument by who ! e fubordinate ope- 
rations, the Almighty formed the Univerfe, and therefore inferi- 
or to the Father in nature, and dignity. This opinion of Arius 
is rather more refined than that of Cerinthus, but in every re- 
fpect as opptifite tojthe Scriptures of truth. Where do we find 
it in the lead decree hinted in all divine Revelation that ur 
Redeemer was the firft, the noble:'!: cr mature that God made out 
of nothing? Is he n >t rxprefsly cihei the e'vetrafti ig Father, * 
(Meb. the Father of Eternity) are not hi< goings forth laid to be 
from ever'aftmg, f 'from the days of eternity ?) The names 
he bears, the characters he fu lams, the works he hath perform- 
ed, the honours piid him, certa nfy raife hi.n far fupcrior to the 
higheft, and mod noble rank of creatures, ever the Almighty 

This novel opinion of Arius, created great confufions in the 
Church, to allay wh ch, the Emperor Coaftantine aflTem led in 
the year 3 25, the famous Council ot N ce in 1, where 

the deputies of the Church un ' ere fummoned, to pot an 

end to this controversy. In this Genera! Council, the Doctrine 
of Arius was condemned, declared coofubftantiaf, or of 
the fame eflettfce with the Father. It is well known to fuch as 
are in the leaft deg-ee acquainted with Eccfefiaftic HLi'lory, what 
dreadful an imonties, confuftons, and Slood-thcd happened in the 
Chriitian Church, many years after, on account of this unhappy 
controverfy. For the nv>ft part, the Gothic Nations who over m\ 
the Roman empire, embraced the tenets of Anus. But yet, 
the triumphs of Arianifm were but tranfitory, and its profpe-ous 
were en pfed, when the Vandals were driven out 

of Africa, and the Goths out of Italv, by the vicarious arrrts of 
Jununian. The othei \riah princes were eafily induced, to 
abandon thedo&rines of Arius, and not only fo, but to employ 
the fo-ce or I in 1 r ic authority of Councils, to prevent ts 

further prb»refs among their fuhje&s, and to extirpate it entr 
out of their dominions : Sach was the conduct of Sigifmund k og 
of the Burgundian>; Theodomit king of the Suevii, who had 
fettled inLufitania; and Keccared king of Spain. Whether this 

* Ifa. ix. 6. t Micnh v. 2. 


change draught in thefe princes, wa?> owing to a fcriptural con- 
viclion c4 the errors of their ways, or to the influence ot "hopes 
and rears, is a qucftion which will not he eafily deteimined. But 
one thing Ls certaiij, n this period* tbe followers of Anns 

declined apace, ani could never after, recover any conbderable 
degree of liability and confident r. 

The pre (cot age,, teems to drain every nerve, and to uic every 
poffible means, to revive that buried caufe. Many in the Chrif- 
tian Church, look upon the orthodox fyftem on this head, as a 
clog to religion, and a bar to its propagation. Strange ! that 
any mould entertain fuch a notion, of that which is the glory of 
our religion. Remove this, and what have we more. It is the 
very hails, upon which the whole is built; the pillar, which fup- 
ports the whole. If Chrift be not God, equal with the Father, 
it will be a matter of no fmall difficulty to determine, how we 
.Ke to befaved: We are immediately reduced to this impoffible 
condition, of performing perfect, perfonal and unremitting obe- 
dience to the moral law: Who can rationally, or fafely expect, 
falvation by the Death, and blood fhedding of a Creature, let 
it be of never (o high an extraction, and noble pedigree ? 

About the year 1546, the doctrine of the Trinity was impug- 
ned under another appearance, by that feci: called Socinians, 
whofe principal founders were Laelius, and Fauftus Socinus. 
They (if poffible,) entertained more di (honourable notions of 
Omit, than the Arians. According to the aforementioned Au- 
thor; * the fum of their Theology is this. " God who is infi- 
*' nitely more perfect than man, though of a fimilar nature in 
" fome refpe&s, exerted an ad of that power by which he go- 
" verns all things, in confequence of which an extraordinary 
" person was horn of the Virgin Mary. That perfon was Je- 
<c fus Chrift, whom God fir ft translated to heaven by that por- 
" tion of his divine power, which is called the Holy GboJJ, and 
" having inftructed him in the knowledge of his will, counfels, 
<e and defigns, lent him again into this lublunary world, to pro- 
" pa gate to mankind a new rule of life, more excellent thai} 
" that which they formerly had, to propagate divine truth by 
M his mini dry, and to confirm it by his death. Thole who 
<( obey th* voice or this divine teacher, (and this obedience is 
fC in the power of every one whofe will and inclination leads 
u that way) fliall, one day, be clothed with new bodies, and 
" inhabit eternally thole blefTed regions where God himfelf 
" immediately refides. Such, on the contrary, as are difobedi- 
" ent and rebellious, (hall undergo moil terrible and exquifitc 
tf torments, which fhall be fucceeded by ^annihilation, or the 

* Moiheim, Vol. 3, page 554. 


" extin&ion of their being." A ftrange fyftem of Divinity: 
In which there are as many errors, as fentences, what an anti- 
fcrintural Hypothecs is the afcent of Chrift into heaven, to be 
initru&ed in the divine counrels ! Is it pofliMe to conceive, that 
our Lord Jefus Chrift, fhould be taken up. into heaven, for no 
lefs purpofe, than to be inftru6ted in his embafTy, and under- 
ftind the mind of God, as to his office, and yet not one of the 
EvangehnV, give anv account of the circumftances ? They are 
very particular as to his birth, fafting, baptifm, preaching, mi- 
racles, fufferinsr, refurreclion, and afccnfion ; but not one word 
among them all, as to the circumrtances of his being taken up 
into heaven, for fo srreat a purpofe. Now, if this Article of the 
Socinian Creed be true, and necefTary, to be believed, why is 
it not plainly revealed, why is there no mention made of it at 
all ? Who can poffiMy imagine it confident with the fincentv, 
and faithfulnefs of the writers of the new Tettament, to conceal 
fuch a very material Artic'e ? i( Before Abraham was, / am 
fays our Lord." " whole goings forth have been of old, from 
everlajling" fays an infpired prophet- No fay Socinians, he 
never exited until his conception in the womb oi the Virgin 
Alary ! The Socinian method of falvation is referred to the free 
will of the creature; obeying the voice ot this divine teacher, 
enfures everlatlmg happinefs. We wifh they would rather at- 
tribute it to the atonement, and merit of the Saviour, as Paul 
doth. In whom we have redemption thro' his blood, the for- 
glveiiefs of fins, according to the riches of h's grace. * Here is 
pot a fy liable of the ailgracious, and powerful operation of the 
Ghofr, on the foals of men, making them billing in a day 
or his power. + Arians and Socinians, reducing Chriit to the 
level of a mere creature, naively le ids the.n forward, to un- 
:he Scripture do&rinc of the corruption ot human nature ; 
infurnciency of the molt perfect Human obedience, to fe- 
. iful men from t'ie wrath to come, and to procure eternal 
of '.he neceffiry of Cififft FufFe rings and death, in the 
rooirj and lie id of toe gujf^y. In a word, take their divinity 
all in all, it differs very 1 trie from a fyflcm of infidelity. 

: fame Author, f " the Socinians profefs to 
" believe thai: all Oifr knowledge of divine things t* derived 
folely tro.a the holy Scriptures; yet they maintain, in reali- 
ty, that the fente of fcripture is to be inveftigated by the 
di&ates of right reafon, to which, in confequence, they attri- 
bute a great influence in determining the nature, and un- 
folding the various doctrines of religion. When their wri- 
tings are perufed with attention, they will be found to attri- 
* Eph. i. 7. X Pf. ex. 3. t Vol. •, p.ige 502. 

vii P R E K A C I 

" bote more f> reaT n, in thi« matter, than mod other chriftian 
k< iocietics. For they frequently insinuate artfully, nay fome- 
" tun: plainly, that the iacred penmen were guilty of 

" lev mrftakes, from defect of memory, as well as uant ol 
(t efled their fentiments without ei- 

" fher pcrfpicuity o u, »d rendered the p'aineft things 

tofcure I j .'ii.pous anu c lifulive Aiiatic ftiic; and that 

*' it wae th< bfolutely nccefla ry to employ the lamp of 

" human rea'.on to call a light upon then do&rincs, and *.o e\- 
" plain them in a manner conformable to truth" According 
to this manner of arr/umg, it is not divine revelation that is to 
be our infatl b'c role and ur.eiring tu de, re r pt£fing faith and 
practice, but man's own re l"rn mud be his fole director, left the 
kriptures fhnuld lead him aOray. Divine revelation, altho* 
never again ft reafon, yet moll ot the articles contained in the 
facred Scriptures, rife infinitely lupenor to the weak, corrupt, 
Mind reafon of man. The carnal man, (fays the inlpired apof- 
tle of the Gmtile } receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, 
neither can he know them, becaufe they are fpiritually difcern- 
cd. * An .nfpired prophet entertans higher views of the Scrip- 
tures than thefen en fecm to 60; he candidly confefTes, tnat the 
d'vine word was his iole conductor, in inveftigatng the nature, 
counfels, and peifeciicns ot the divine Being: Vv hat he was to 
believe concerning him, ana how he was to a£f. towards him. 
Thy word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path, J Accor- 
ding to the Sociniari Hypothecs, no doctrine in divine revela- 
tion, ought to be acknowledged as true in its nature, or divine 
in its origih, ali whole parts are not level to the comprehenfion 
of the human mind : And that, whatever the fcriptures teach 
concerning the perfections of God, his counfels and decrees, 
and the wav of fc'vation, muft be modified, curtailed, and filed 
down, in inch a manner by the transforming power of art and 
argument, as to anlwer tht extent of our limited faculties. 
could imagine, that luch tenets would have ever found 
their way into the Chriftian Church ? If every article contained 
in divine, ic*velation, muft be reduced foas to anfwer the extent 
of our undcritandings, there will be found to be but very few 
article, elpecialiy fuch as have a reference to man's falvation, 
tha* wc can credit at all. They will be found to lie too deep tor 
feafons line to fathom, altho' not for our faith to credit. For 
inftance, eternal life we are told, confifts in the knowledge of 
the only true God;$ and yet who among either A.ngels or 
men, can anlwer the queftion, what is God ? Is this enough to 

* 1 Cor. ii. 14. t Pfal. cxix. 105. 

§ John xvii. j. 


deny his exigence, becaufe we cannot comprehend his nature? 
That moment God comes to be comprehended, by any created 

understanding, he ceafes to be. 

What horrid impiety ! To blame the Amanuenfis of the holy 
Scriptures with miftakes, proceeding from want of memory and 
capacity. Was not the Holy Ghoit promifed before our Lord's 
afcenfion to the Difciples, for this, among other fpecial ends, to 
lead them into all truth ? It would require a good deal of the 
moft unhappy ingenuity, to reconcile our Lord's promife, with 
the Socinian opinion. " Holy men of God, f pake as they were 
" moved by the Holy Ghoft," f is the language of one, to 
whom the preceding promife was immediately directed. The 
language of the infpired Apoftie of the Gentiles, coincides exactly 
with that of Peter. ?.* All fcripture, fays he, is given by the 
infpi ration of God." X 

According to the aforementioned Author, || Fauflus Socinus 

in his treatife again ft the femi Judaizers, acknowledged it as his 

opinion, that u praying or offering up divine worftiip toChrift, 

" is not neceflary tofalvation. The Chriftian, (fays he) whofc 

fajth is fo ftrong, as to encourage him to make his addreffes 

*' habitually anddire£My to the fupreme Being, and who ftand- 

if eth not in need of the comfort that flows from the invocation 

of Chnft his Brother, who was tempted in all things as he is, 

" that Chnftian is not obliged to call upon the name of Jcfus, 

* by prayer and invocation. " i have no notion that the greateft 
believer ever exifted, attained to fuch a degree of faith, as to 
iuperfede the comfort arifing from Chrift's intcrceflnn. It is 
pertt&ly unintelligible to me, that a Chriftian in this life, 
through the perfection of his (late, is not obliged to invocatc the 
name of Jefii*. 1 would rather imagine, that when a complete 
ftafe of perfection in Glory will take place, the faints will be 
eternally beholden to Jefus the interceffbr, for the comforts ari- 
fing rrom his advocation, even in that happy place, and in that 
complete perfect (late. No body I think, who pofiefTes any 
efteem for Je'us, would wifh to be ranked among the Socinians 
great belicv-rs. 

In the fifth century, according to Dr. Mofheim, * the doc- 
trine of free grace thro' the redemption that is in Chrift Jefus, 
was openly oppugned by Pelag'rus, and Celeftus, the former a 
Briton, the other a native of Ireland. Thefe men fays he, 
" looked upon the doctrines which were commonly received, 
'• concerning the original corruption of human nature, and 


t 2d. Pet. i. 21. t 2d. Tim. iii 16. 

11 Vol. 3, page 6oo, * Vol. i. page 433. 


' f the necefijty of divine grace to enlighten the under (landing-, 
ft and purify the heart, as prejudicial to the interefts of holinefs 
r * and virtue, and tending to lull mankind into a prefumptu- 
" ous and fatal fecurity. They maintained, that thefe doc- 
11 trines were as falfe as they were pernicious; that the fin of 
'* our firft parents, was imputed to them alone, and not to their 
" pofterity; that wc derive no corruption from their fall, out 
<c are born as pure and unfpotted as Adam came out of the 
<f hand of his Creator; that mankind, therefore, are capable of 
?' repentance and amendment, and of arriving to the higheft 
" degree of piety and virtue by the ufe of their natural faculties 
<c and powers; that, indeed, externa! grace is necefTary to ex- 
t( cite their endeavours, but that they have no need of the in- 
* € ternal fuccours of the divine Spirit." 

From that, to this prefent time, the tenets of Pelagius have 
had their abettors in the Chriftian Church, to the deep (Wow 
and regret of every generous Chriftian. How far a belief of 
thefe doctrines tends to the prejudice of holinefs, and virtue, let 
any unprejudiced Chriftian judge. Thofe who believe trial 
mankind are born finful and polluted; maintain the abfolute 
neccflity of the powerful operations of the Holy Ghoft, inftead of 
man's natural powers and faculties, in order for the renovation 
of finful man ; who believe, that without a faving faith in 
Chrift, and union to him, nothing can be done either glorifying 
ko God, or profitable to ourfelves; in a word, who place the 
whole of their falvation from firft to laft to the account of G^d*-: 
grace, thro' the redemption that is in Chrift Jefus; thefe I fay, 
may riCk the credit of their belief upon the exemplary holinefs 
of its profeflfors. 

It is difficult to conceive, how men can form a fyftem of doc- 
trines from the holy Scriptures, or inculcate the practice of vir- 
tue and holinels without reference to Jems, as the author and 
finimer of our faith; as the Alpha and Onega of our falvation. 
■lcu'cate the practice of morality, without fetting before 
men their corrupt ruined date by nature, without Jirging faith 
in his blood, appears to me as fooliih, and every way as fruit tefs 
a fc'ieme, as for one to imagine to build a hoqfe, by begirining 
at the roof, without laying the foundation in the ground. Ne- 
ver did immorality and vice of every fpecies, arrive to fuch a 
monftrous. height, as it hath done fince men have loft views of 
tjKe univerfal, early, depravity and corruption of human nature, 
rmd the abfolute necefiity of thrift's atonement and merit, and 
ihe fupernatural agency of the Holy Spirit, to renew tinners in 
the fpirit of their minds. A few empty jejune (ketches of mo- 
rality, are fuMlituted in the room of the folid fubftantial truths 



of the Gofpel. Proofs for the fnpport of a particular d^Vinc, 
introduced from the Heathen Philosopher; and Poets, feeni to he 
more palatable to the prelcnt age, than thofe which fhould ix: 
fetched from the lively oracles or God. 

It certainly ought to he a matter of the deepeft regret ami 
forrow, the many divisions, and oppofite fentiments that rend 
the Chriftian Church at this day. There are many, no doubf, 
looking out and longing for that happy period, in which the 
watchmen on mount Ephraim fhail fee eye to eye, and ling to- 
gether ; when the Lord (hall return ft? the people a pure lan- 
guage, that they all may ferve him with one confent. In the 
mean rime, it mufi: be matter of lamentation to every lover ci 
Jefu , to fee thefe great truths that are the very baf.s of the 
Chriftian Syftem, fo virulently impugned, and treated too 
often, in the moll: fcurrilous, if not in a blafphemous manner, f 
Let no body imagine, that the difference between the Arians, 
Socinians and Orthodox, is a matter of trivial moment : No- 
thing within the compafs of divine revelation is of equal impor- 
tance. The queftion is, whether or not, the fecond perfon of 
the ever glorious Trinity, be God equal with the Father, in all 
the effential properties, and attributes of Deity; was manifefted 
in the flefh in the fulnefs of time, to take away fm by his pro- 
pitiatory and vicarious fufrering; fo that there can be no falva- 
tion to fallen man, but by faith in his blood; or whether that 
Jefus, that appeared in the world in the form ol[ a fervant, owed 
his original to the all creating hand of God, at the beginning of 
time; or to his conception in the worn!) of the Virgin Mary ; fe: 
an example to mankind by a holy and virtuous life, and died a 
Martyr, to confirm the doctrines that he taught; and then re- 
ferring man's falvation to the good works of the creature, in- 
ftead of the merit of the Saviour. The enfuing letters are de- 
signed to eftabliih the former, and refute the Matter opinion. 
, To know the truth as it is in Jefus, is one of heaven's choicer! 
hleflings Tj fea^ch :he Scriptures daily, to pray with the royal 
prophet, f* open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous 
things out of thy law," are means of heaven's inllitution to ob- 
tain this invaluable privilege. Let none think it below them, 
to know the Scriptures, which are able to make wife unto falva- 
tion. That there have been errors and herelies in the church 


f Some fcurrilous wits think nothing of exprdling therafelves thus, 
" that there is no more virtue in Chriit's blood than in that of a Bull." 
We wifh. at Ieaft men would learn not to hlafpheme ; fome fpeak with 
more reverence of Chrift's blood, but exprefs it as their opinion that they 
■ annot be fared by it I 

xii P R E F A C E. 

from its commencement, to this very div Cannot be denieJ. If 
the queiVion he a iked, from whence Jo'h it prncrcd, that men 
thus err from the truth, an \ follow their own delufions ? I m- 
fwer, there Items to he hut three pofli ^le ways from whence this 
fpritual malady cm originate; it muft either flow from God, 
from the Scriptures, or from ourselves. From God it cannot 
flow, for every good and perfect gift comes from him, and from 
him is the fpirit of a found mind; it would he the ve-y height 
of hlafphemv, to entertain the reimtelt thought that G~>d, who 
is immiculately pure and holy, would infule any vicious qua- 
lityor perver'e difpofit ion into any ^eatu r es. Itcin- 

not proceed from the Scriptures, this would he in effect lo impute 
it to God, the Scriptures being the word of God ; it mufr then 
inevitably follow, that the only fourceofthis evil mul oe traced 
up to, and ultimately refolved in man's corrupt heart and blind 
underftandin^ Ever fince fin reared its curfed head in this 
world, and Ipread irs baneful influence among the human race, 
the nature of man has been corrupt, and his underltan ling, the 
eye of the foul darkened; «f his affo&ions polluted; upon the 
face of the whole ea^th, there is neither Jew nor Gentile, tut 
underftandeth, or feeketh after God. * So that mankind in ge- 
neral, without the fpecia! illumination of the .4olv Gholt, cm- 
not receive the things of the Spirit of God. Man is carnal and 
earthly; the things of God are fpTitua! and heavenly j and 
the'e are confary one to the other: Therefore, as the wifdom 
cf rhis world is foolifhnefs with God, fo the wifdom of God is 
foolifhnefs with, carnal men. This beinx the ca"e, with men in 
general, the Scriptures aflTert the abfolute neceflitv, for men to 
t)e transformed by the renewing of their minds; [| and reilored 
to that foundnefs of mind, to that light of the underfhndmg, 
2'ad spiritual difcemment neecfTary to know the things of God, 
iind thole things which belong to our et rnal falvation. 

It may here be obferved, that where the means of in^ructSon 
are o'-ftinatelv withftood and refitted, this bJindncTs, which was 
at hrft natural, becomes judicial, from being a defect, it Sec 
a judgment: Which is the cafe with a!! luch, to whom 
fends flronrr delufions to believe a lie: This is the lafl ftage of 
blindnefs, and referred to in our Lord's lamentation wer Jeru- 
falem, Luke 19, 22- If thou hadft known, even thou, the 
things that belong to thy peace, but now they are hid from thine 
eyes. To what elfe, can we attribute the different effects of 
Paul's preaching at Rome, but to that blindnefs, whether natu- 
ral or judicial, that thefe men were in. That his whole audi- 
t Eph. iv. 18. * Rom. iii. 2. II Rom. xii. 2. 

PREFACE. xiii 

ence did not receive the truth, was not owing to the ambiguity 
of its terms, or the defect of its evidence, but wholly to the ftate 
and di r pofition of the hearers. J When the Holy Ghofl: defend- 
ed on the day of Pentecofr, and infpired the Apples with the 
of tongues, fome devout men were am.;zcd and confounded 
at the miracle, plainly feeing the hand of God in it, and 
what it meant : What was the end and deiign of it ? Peter in- 
forms them: They received the word ^ladly, and were baptiz- 
ed; while others, to avoid the conclufion mccked, faying, thefe 
men are full of new wine. § 

Some men feem to pofTefs fuch an unaccountable pervenity 
and difpofition of mind, that they will not ?jive themfeves the 
leaft trouble, either to know, or believe certain icripture doc- 
trines, becaufe fay they, " thefe are nice points, we would not 
<s wifh to hear them fpoken of, or intermeddled with," fuch as 
the doctrine of the Trinitv, Chrilt's fa pre me deity, falvation 
thro' his merits, &c. To reject any truth, becaufe it is a nice 
point, (i. e. if 1 miflake not a do&riae which they cannot com- 
prehend) I fcarcc know what we (hall believe; fcepticifm would 
univerfally prevail throughout the world. Is nor our own ex- 
igence a nice point, are we not fearfully and wonderfully made? 
That we exift, is an undoubted fact, but how we exift, how vc 
were formed in the womb; when, or how, our immortal fpirits 
were united to this clay tabernacle; how the union is fuoponed 
and preferved ; thefe are things beyond our comprehension; hut 
becaufe we cannot thoroughly inveftigate the'.e truths, are we to 
deny our exigence. That there is a God, who is in, all, ou- 
all,and above all, is an undoubted truth ; but what that God i?, 
we never can know to perfecTon ; but for this reafon, are v. 
turn Atheifts. No man ever took upon him toexpiain the na- 
ture of that union, that fuhfifts between the three perfons of the 
ever glorious and undivided deity; nor the hypoftatical union 
between the two natures in Chrift's per* on ; fo as thefe doctrines 
might be fully comprehended, and thoroughly underirooa. h 
is enough for the believers of thefe, or other fimi'ar controvertc * 
doctrines, that they are plainly auerted, and unaen ... vea 

in the holy Scriptures. 

'1 hat man's falvation is entirely 6w$ig to (Thrift's obedience 
and death, aid not to the partem and example he iet before the 
world; nor to any good won performed by the creature; is i 
doctrine which has obtained the fanction of many learned and 
pious Divines, from the commencement of chriftiani-cv to this 
very day. For the fatisfacfjon of the Enghfli reader, I fhail men- 

t Ach xxviii. 24. § A£ts ii, 13. 

\\v P K E F A C E. 

rion a few of thefe eminent men, as taken notice of by a very 
learned and ingenuous Author- + 

Juftin Martyr who lived in the year 150, in his dialogue with 
Trypho the Jew, thus expreflTes himl'elf. " The blood of Jefus 
" Chi ill, ii> the true atonement,* which all true penitents lay 
" hold on; for neither by the blood of bulls or lambs, or the 
" afhes of an Heifer, or any fimilar oblation, is expiation 
•• made." He further adds, " it pleafed God to make Chrift a 
(( curie for us, which could notbtfve^been done, unlefs he had 
94 inflamed our place, and fufferSFthe punifh merit due to us/' 

Origen, who lived in the year 230, in his fourth Homi- 
ly thus expreflfes himfelf. " if there had been no fin, 
" there had been no neceflity for the Son of God to have 
" aflumed the character of a Lamb; neither would there have 
f* been any caufe for his iufferings in the human nature; but 
" to have remained what he was from eternity, the Word. But 
M fince the entrance of fin into the world, a propitiation was re- 
" quifite, a propitiation cannot be made, but by a Sacrifice; it 
M was ncceffary therefore, that a Sacrifice fhould be provided, 
** to take away fin." He further adds, man could not commute 
l< with God for his foul, but God gave the precious blood 
i( of his Son for fouls; for we are not bought with corruptible 
te things, fuch as filver and gold, but with the precious blood of 
" Chrift." 

Eulebius of Cnefaria, who lived in the reign of Conftantine, 
Lib. 10. de demonftra. Evengel. has thefe remarkable expreifi- 
«>ns. " The Lamb of God which takcth away the fin of the 
" world, was made fin for us; who altho', he knew no fin, 
M was made by God fin for us; fubftituting him in our place 
C€ and room, that we might be made the rightcoufnefs of God 
" in him." 

Athanafius who lived in, Conftantine's reign in his book de 
inca^pa. verbi Dei ; thus fpeaks. " It wasneceflary that Chrift 
" fhould fuffer that death, which we all deferved to fuffer; and 
M becaufe the Word being immortal, could not die; he aflumed 
" a body for this purpofe, and offered that in Sacrifice for all." 

Augufline who lived in the fifth century, lib. 14. cont. 
Fauft. Manich. Cap. 4. thus delivers himfelf. " Chrift who 
" was without fin, bore our punifhment, that he might pay 
•' our debt, free us from guilt, and deliver us from punifh- 
" ment." And in his treat ife on Pfal. 95 thus fpeaks. M Men 
l< who were fold into captivity, are delivered from their capti- 
M vity; they could fell themfelves, but they could not deliver 
" themfelves; the Redeemer came and paid down the price, 

t Turret de Satisf. 


'• poured out his blood, and bought the world. Do ye afk 
<( what he bought ? See what he gave, and find out what he 
" bought. The blood of Jefus Chrift is the price, of what va- 
(< lue is it ? Sufficient to redeem the whole world." Again 
adds he, te he was made the Son of man, that we might become 
c < the fons of God; he fuffered for us, without any demerit on 
" his part; that we by him, might obtain grace without our 

My readers from the aforefaid inftances, (and others which 
might have been added) will fee, that the doctrine propofed to 
be confirmed in the fubfequcnt letters, is no novel doctrine. It 
has had the fuffrage of the pious and learned in all ages. Why 
fhould not we contend for that truth, why mould we not cor- 
dially embrace that precious doctrine, which fills the mouths, 
and ravifhes the hearts, of all the redeemed from among men ? 
Their fong is, and eternally will be; " unto him that loved us, 
and warned us from our fins in his own blood, to him be glory, 
and dominion, for ever and ever, Amen." That my readers may 
be introduced among that ecleftial company, and join in that 
divine anthem, is the mod fincere wilh of, 


K^ J^k #"*; 

k* X*~ **' 

Ik I £ 

1 ft^?s^ ^13* an* gry ?^^>^«. V 

S2 /r*[ ££ e» 

5- fifths 8 k* 2' fifc** 

4^^^'^^^^S^N^^^^^^N^^ ^^>^J 



Dear Ones jm us, 

1 Received vours; the deen concern ycu feem to he in, un- 
der a c >nfeioufnefs of guilt, and a dread of falling under the eter- 
nal difpleafure of a juflly incenfed God, puts me in mind of that 
terror, which feized the Ifraehtifh congregation, at the giving of 
the law on Mount Horeb. — I am lure you will agree with me, 
that this was one of the moil: pompous and dreadful fpe&acies, 
which ever mortals beheld. The holy mount covered with (moke; 
thunders ready to burft over their heads; lightening? darting 
then a difmal bri^htnefs; the trumpet founding long and loud ; 
the voice of the Eternal, heard out of the midft c: the fire. Thefe 
concomitants, which attended the Almighty's deicent rendered 
the fecne in the higheft degree awful, and folemn. But befides 
thefe awful, circumftances, there were others no lefs terrific. 
Formidable barriers, not to be paiTed over, without expiating the 
rafn attempt, by a fudden and tragical death. Thoufc nds of 
angels, ready to revenge the contempt of the divine law, upon 
the leaft fignal. The earth trembling, and ready to fink into its 
'foundations. Is there any wonder, that we beheld fix hundrd 
thoufand men, frozen with fear, and begging as the only favour 
that God mould not fpeak to them, left they fhould die. Need 
we marvel, that Molts h'mfelf, habituated as he had been to 
communion with God, lhould exceedingly fear and qp ke. 
You mav fee this very affecting fcene painted in the mod live- 
ly colours by the Jewifh Leg Hator, in Exod. 19. 

My dear Onehnus, the period is faft approaching, asfaft as the 
wings of time can bring it, when not only fix hundred tl 

C knd 

Let. i. ( 18 ) 

fand, but a great company which no man can number, mud 
ftand before an impartial tribunal, petrified with fear, to anfwer 
for every tranfgreflion of that divine and righteous law, promul- 
gated with ic much folemnity on Mount Sinai. Yes Onefimus, 
there is a time coming, when all that have been, are, or fliall 
be, mull be fummoned out of their graves by the found of the 
lad trumpet, to appear before the great white throne, tipon which 
Jefus -j- fliall vifibly fit to determine the final doom of the whole 
human race. What a tremendous found! penetrating into the 
very caverns oft he earth ; into the bottom of the fathomlefs ocean ; 
into the very depths of hell; hell and earth ihall, muft give up 
their dead. What an almighty energy mud be in that fum- 
mons; arife ye dead and come to judgment. Thefe delicate 
car?, or rather, (if you allow me the expreffion) carelefs hearts, 
which can tcarcely either think, or hear, of that glorious dreadful 
day; mud hear, mud obey- Starting as from a dream, they 
ihall fee, not a finale mount on a blaze; but the whole univerfe. 
They fha!l iee the great jud r e defcending in flaming fire; the 
world around them burning, the elements melting with fervent 
heat. J O! that this important truth, was written as with a 
pen of iron, and the point of a diamond, on the confeiences of 
fuch, as treat the divine law with the mod daring contempt, 
and Maiphemous effrontery. Confider this, and be afraid, ye 
that upon the mod trivial occafion, never dop to break over 
thefe bounds, which God in his law hath faid, ye ihall not tranf- 
grefs ; or elfe ye fhall die. May you my dear Oneftmus, walk 
foberly, rightenufly, and godly, in this prefent evil world; that 
when the 'zreat judge defcends, to put a final period to all the 
affairs of puny mortals, and to pais an irrevocable fentence both 
on *^ood and bad, you may dand undifmayed, at all the terrors 
ofthat awful period. O! may that Jefus, who fuffered and di- 
ed for fin tiers, appear in that day as your advocate, and your 
friend; and may you, and your bofom friend, dart out of our 
graves, at the found ofthat alarming voice, " arife ye dead and 
come to judgment," and re-echo, " behold we come unto thee* 
for thou are the Lord our God. Lo This is our God, and we 
haj c waited for him'' ! 

Yqu defire in yours, to give you my thoughts on the pried- 
hood of Jefus. (To help your faith, confirm your hope, and in- 
creafe yout joy; I am bound by all the ties of nature and grace, 
and a long contracted frienddiip) On the priedhood of Jefus, 
depends all our hope for eternity. His obedience and facrifice, 

f A6rs xvii. 31. 
X See this awful period defcribed by the Apoftle Paul, 2d. Theff. 
Ch. I. — 2d. Pa. iii. 10. 

Let. i. ( 19 ) 

are the only ground upon which we can expect the pardon cf our 
fins, and the acceptance of our perfons, with an infinitely holy God. 
I undertake this the more willingly, confideringr this article of 
our faith is (o little underftood, and in no age perhaps, fo noton- 
oufk impugned. The Socinians would willingly, (if p inble) 
Or, n him of thismoft exalted cKardfiber, and comfortable office; if 
thev condescend to recognize his face root al office at aHj they con- 
fine its execution to his heavenly ftate. They maintain he is a 
prieft im^roprie fie diftus, improperly fo called, and his fatisfa&i- 
o n to the law and juftice or" God in the room of the guilty, a 
metaphorical fatisfa&ion. The former opinion natively leads 
to the latter, for if he he but a Prieil improperly fo called, his Sa- 
crifice era he no real Sacrifice, no reconciliation made by it, be- 
tween an offended God and offending men ; no pardon of fin ac- 
quired rfy it, no virtue or value in his atonement, to merit hea- 
ven and' eternal gfoty torus; nor any fancaifying influences in 
his blood, to prepare and make us meet far that celeftia' ftate ; 
the nature of his death, could con (iff in no more, than merely to 
lea! and confirm the doctrines which he propagated in his life ; 
and iitttead of his death being a propitiatory-, vicarious la- 
crifice, it was only intended to exhibit to mankind, an example 
of patience and refignation under a fnrTering lot; infread or dy- 
ing; as our propitiation, he died a Martyr for the truth: In this 
cafe, I cannot fee but that this paradifaical injunction is yet in 
full force, " do this and live." But alas! are not the terms of 
the covenant of works, infin tely fuperiorto the power and ability 
of any laofed creature to fulfil; therefore the bleiimg promiled 
ahfolutely bevond our reach to obtain. Paul informs us of that 
admirable expedient, and glorious device that the infinite wif- 
dom of God contrived to eniure the inheritance we had forfeited, 
and the bl effing we had loft ; for when we were yet without 
ftrengthi Chrift died for the ungodly, f For what the law could 
not do, in that it was weak through the flefti, God fending his 
own Son in the likenefs of fmful flefh* and for fin condemned fin 
in the fleih ; that the righteou ! "r#?fs of the law might be fulfilled in 
us, who walk not after the flefb, but after the Spirit. [| 

Jefus is our Mediator; this is the language of an infpircd pen- 
man. " There is one God, and one Mediator, between God 
and men, the man Chrift Jelus." Confidered in this capacity, 
he is inverted with the threefold offices, of prophet, prieft, and 
king; in his inflalment into, and execution ofthefe offices, doth 
his mediatorftlip confiff. It was ahfolutely neceffary, that he 

f Rom. v. 6. II Cap. viii. 3, 4. 

C 2 

Let. I. ( 20 ) 

(i be inflalled into, and execute thefe offices, confideringthe 
threefold tnifery mankind were involved in ; i morance, guilt, 
ar »d bondage. If he had Keen only a prophet, our guilt had re- 
mauifdj it he had heen only a prielt, our ignorance could not 
»ten removed; if he had been only a prophet and a prieft, 
we would have rema ncd in the power, and under the tyranny 
°t the prince of the power of the air. But in the adorable wit 
dom of God, he if made of God unto us, wifdom, righteou 
and fan&irkation ; -j- wifdom as a prophet, righteoi fciefi as a 
prieft, and fa notification as a kins;. Why fhould any one quar- 
rel at this conftitution of the mediator ? Oncfimus, do you not fee 
and acknowledge, that if he who lay ; n the hofom of the fa- 
ther, had not revealed the eternal counfels, purpofes, and delists 
ot God to the world, the world would forever have remained in 
the grofieft ignorance with regard to thefe important things. 
Chnftians nt every denomination feem to be mutually agreed to 
recognize Chnft as a prophet, to appear on the theatre of this 
world, clothed with the character of Heaven's amhalTador : 
Why fhould there he any murmuring ahout the execution of his 
facerdotal function, in its full latitude, fuffering on earth, 
and interceding in Heaven ? I perfuade myfelf Oneftmus, that 
you t tertain other views of fin, than that it could he otherwise 
itedj than hy the fuffcrings and atonement of Chrift ; and 
other views o,' an infinitely holy God, than to imagine, that any 
thing clfe could have fatisfied divine juftice, than the vicarious, 
propitiatory facrifice of our great High Prieft. The Lord is well 
{ for his righteoulnefs lake, for he hath magnified the law, 
and made it honorable. * You fee this Evangelical Prophet, 
fpcaks the very language of an infpired Apoftle; both proclaim 
\\h Priefthood, both recognize the ineftimable bleffing that flows 
to us, to the very chief of Tinners, in the execution ot this office, 
fs ; a righteoufne s, which removes every thing the (in- 
ner ha* to dread, puts him in poffeffion of what his utmoft wifli 
pan crave. 

The execution of his prieftly office has a more immediate re- 
fp ct to God, than that of his prophetic or kindly offices. As a 
rtopbet he instructs, as a King he rules us, but as a Prieft he 
n.teiy appears in the prefence of God, for us;$ as a 
Prieft, he makes up the breach, magnifies the law, fatisnes inl- 
and makes ample reparation to the injured perfections of 
J.jry. as a Prieft, mercy and truth, meet together, righ- 
eoufnefs and peace mutually embrace each other. || 

t i Cor i. 30-. * Ifa. xlii. 21. 

§ Heb. ii. 24. II Pfal. lxxxv. 10. 

Let i. ( 21 ) 

AUh'V the priefthood and Sa:ri rices under the lav/ adumbrat- 
ed and pointed to the pneft^ood and Sacrifice of the future Mc'ffi- 
vet he fprung not of thr family, nor was constituted arter the 
order of Aaron. He ipruns; from the trihe of Juda, and as man, 
was lineally defcended of the family of David. And there {hall 
come form (fays lfaiah) a rod out of the ftem of Jefie, and a 
ach ih ill - of his roots. § The A aul in writ- 

ing to tl -v?, (hows the acco.iipiifhinenr of this ancient 

prediction in the perfon of our gre Prieft. For fays he, 

he of whoa, theft things are fpoken, peitainetji to another tribe, 
tqnda ice at the Altar: f For it is evi- 
dent, that our Lord f prang out of Juda, of which cri 1 c. 

it i! i^ poacerning pne">hood. f The Levitical prieil' 
and Sacr. rices, are for eve ^ded.; a more glorious pri 

hood, indan infinitely better Sacrifice, has taken place inftead of 
the former. For fays trie I:., e, " the law maketh nothing 

pe.fcct, but the br nging m of a better hope did." This was t 
the tribe, the family, from w\ ence the Meifiah fp . The 

order after which he was connStuted, was that ct 
This the fame xApoiVle intorms us ; for fays he, he tell 6 a art 

a Prietl for ever, after the ord Lelchifedec. * Long bttore 

itla 1 invert it ure into this odice, it was predicted aftc 
order hetbould lie constituted. Hear the royal 

Lord hath I worn, and wUI no: repent; 

u art a Prieft fctr ever, after tl e order of AT Ichiled hat 


his epTe to the Hebrews, Ch ur- 

felf ere ; 

I do e enveloped in very great 

; this I apprehend ell be reckoned to bi 

~, are hard to be un- 
nere are igs in Scripture 

; to recite the different opinion 
Divines on this he ime. There are two 

maintained, and 

[elchifedec was an d- 

lub K :. a . cnetrue God co:emporary 

w k th Abr . living in Palestine, or in fome of thecoun- 

trieb near \:. \ n . ^pini >n i-, that this Mclckifedec - 

,:e opinions have had numerous-abet- 

!': Betides thefe two, there have been various others ; fome have been 
: as to give us this hillory of Melchifedec, viz. " That 

. ix. i. t Heb. v ; J. 13, 14. X Hcb. vii. 19. 
* Heb. vii. 17, 21. t Pial. 110. 

Let. I. ( 22 ) 

tors; each live FtrppOTttd th?ir refpective opinions w : th vrrv co- 
gent Mrg']inentr.,#ii!'V not wiA Inch, but that great objections 
aj*airtft both may occur. There icems to ta one ftromr objection 
a^ainft the I ill Opmmn, what (cn(2 can He put upon Jehovah's 
oith, Ctmftitutlng him a Pried: tor ever, alter the order o r Mel- 
chifedec, tfhe was realty the Son of God, appearing m the hu- 
m in nature to Abraham ? The feni'e and meaning; of the oath 
hoved to He this, " thou art a Prietr. for ever after thine o'.vn 
" order." 

Whatever o'\j actions may feem to be a^ainft adopting, and 
maintaining, the firlt opm ; on, I would a!- prefent, rather em- 
brace it, and inftcad of looking upon Chrilt as at this time anti- 
cipating the human nature, I w^uld rather view :he Melchife- 
dec here fpoken of, as an illuftrious type of the Meifiah ; who 
was in the fulaeTs. of time to pome in the human nature, to be 
inilalled in, and forever to execute the Sacerdotal office; his ve- 
ry name Teems to point out what our Lord Jefus Chrift ib called 
by the infpired writers, " Msichifedtc, Km i of righteoulnefs." Is 
notour High'Prieft, called ft Jehovah our ^;ghteoLlinefs ,, ?-}■«« King 


11 Adam ordered bis children to take his body out of a place called the 
" cave of the treafure, where he was to remain embalmed for a while, 
" and to carry it to the middle of the earth; that Lamech, when he 
14 died, left the fame command with Noah; that Noah took thofe re- 
" licks info the A'k with him, and kept them there till he died; that 
44 he ordered hi- Son then to take the fame, to provide bread and wine, 
44 to go along with Melchifedec, the Son of Phaleg, and to march until 
" they came uva place which Ihoald be iliown them by an Ange'j 
" that Noah commanded Melchifedec to fix his dwelling in the lame 
" place, to lead a (ingle life, and to pafs it as a Mork, or a religious 
" perfon, becaufe God had chofen him to per!orm religious fervice in 
" Eis prefence ; but not to build any temple, nor ihed the blood of any 
" Animal, nor t.j offer up any Sacrifice, but bread *nd wine." As this 
■avagant opinion, fo the following is profane, vir,. " that Mcl- 
44 ehifedec was a power, or virtue greater than Jefus Chrift himfelf." 

Thtre hart been likew'fe many KiduIous opinions, of him, luch as this 
whimfical one ; that the Sun was the Father, and the Moon che Mother 
of Melchifedec. Arhanafius entertained this notion, viz. that his be- 
ing faid, to be without Father and without Mother, was, becaufe the 
; opened and fwallowed up all his relation*. 

Others have entertained improbable opinions of him, fuch as, " That 
44 he was the Holy Ghoft, or an Angel, or an extraordinary perfon im- 
" mediately created by God like Adam, and for this reafon, he is faid 
44 to be made like the Son of God, the title which the Evangelift Luke 
44 fcfoci to Adam." 

t ]er. xxiii. 6. 

Let. i. (23 ) 

of Salem" i. e. Kins; of peace. * CHrift is our peace, he made 
peace by the blood of his crofs. Melchifedec is here defcribed as 
without Father, and wthout Mother. I apprehend, that Paul 
means not by this defcription, that he was immediately created 
by God, and did not defcend by ordinary generation as a Son of 
Adam; but rather to inow the Scripture's lilence on this head. 
Seneca fpeaks of two Roman Kings, that the one had no Father, 
and the other no Mother, which he himfelf thus explains; that 
they doubted who was the Father of the one, and no mention t 
was made of the Mother of the other. Our great High Prieft as 
Man, he had no Father, as God no Mother. If Melchifedec 
was a type of Chrift in this refpect, it affords a very ftrong proof 
of what our Mediator behoved to be; God as well as man, 
and man as well as God; both to be the antitype of this man. 
i( Without beginning of days, or end of life," adds the infpired Hif- 
torian. Here I imagine, Paul doth not fpeak of what Melchifedec 
was in himfelf, but what he is in relation to us. Paul's argu- 
ment fcems not to be founded upon the nature of the thing, but 
upon the filenceofthe Scripture. Melchifedec with regard to us, 
is without beginning of days, becaufe there is no mention made 
of his birth ; and without end or" life, for the fame rea'on. This 
is Chrift's own declaration or himfelf, " 1 am Alpha and Omega, 
the firil and the lait." 

It is further predicated of Melchifedec, " that he abideth a 
Prieft continually." He abode Angularly and alone a Prieft: 
He is the only one mentioned by the facred writers, in whofeper- 
fon the regal, and facerdotal offices concentred. There were 
Priefts and Prophets, as Samuel; Prophets and King?,, as Da- 
vid; bat Meichiledec, ftands unrivalled in his ftation of Pried 
and King- An in pired Prophet, ftates the rcfemblance between 
Me'chif :dec, and our Lord Chrift in thefe few words, he 
fit a Prieil upon his throne, f He offered his oblation here 
0:1 earth; he now fu> as a Pricit. en his throne in the higheft 
hf >vens, excrcifmn: in a certain manner and degree, his prieftiy 
office, and for ever will, through all the fucceffive ages of time, 
and the end'ef^ a res of eternity. The Lamb which is in the 
nvdfr. of the thron , (kail feed them, and thall lead them unto 
living fount.. iters. || For the foregoing reafons, the Apof- 


* Some think that Salem is the fame with Jerusalem, it would ra- 
ther feem that this Salem lay in the way between Damafcus and Sodom ; 
it retained the f ;rue name in our Saviour's days as appears by the Evan- 
gel-it, faying, that John baptized near Salem, John ii. 23. 

t Ztch. vi. 13. II Rev. vii. 17. 

Let. i. ( 24 ) 

t'e might well affirm of Melchifedec, that " he was made like 
the Son of God," by feeing thus a molt eminent tvpe of him. 

However tagh J am t:ir from behng lingular in 

th«P%x row given of the Apoftie's account of this n*rtgular 

' tin Hav from being fo dogmatic, as certainly to affirm, 

t n|)on you, or any other, as the mind of the Holy 

rj ahftrufe part of holv rit. Whatever pains 

led have taken to unravel this intricate fubject, there is 

tttil a r other enquiries. 

n Jing to Paul's reasoning in the 7th. Ch. of 
"file to the Hebrews, you will find that the principal de- 
' had in view, was to eftablifh the eternity of Chrift's 
liood, in oppofition to rhe Priefts under the law. 'J he Aaro- 
n'Ctl priefthrod was changing from day to day; they were not 
• Continue by reafon of death, v. 23. They were con- 
ftitiit I priefts ar'rer the law of a carnal commandment; Chnft 
after th power of an endlefs life, v. 16. The fame facred pen- 
man inarms us further, v. 18. that there is a difanulling of 
this carnal commandment, conftituting the Aaronical Priefthood, 
(o r the weaknefs and unprofitablenefs thereof. The precepts of 
the Ceremonial Law, were weak and beggarly elements, com- 
pared with theGofpe! difpenfaiion. -j- TheLcvitical priefthood and 
lacrifices, were weak and unprofitable unto the juftihcation of a 
finner in God's fight, and for the pardon and expiation of fin : 
What tl.efe could not do, the of our High Prieft did. 
Onsfimus, if you confult the 5th. Ch. of Paul's epiftle to the 
Hebrews, v. 1, 4, 5. you will find Chrift's priefthood, and 
what peculiar!) belonged to him to do in the execution of that 
office, clearly proven; one principal part o\ the Levitical prieft- 
hood we are told, l( was to offer gifts and lacnfices tor fins;" 
there was indeed another part, but founded on this, viz. to in- 
tercede for the people; their oblations were prior to their inter- 
ceflions. The way to the holy of hoiies, was by the altar. God 
never inftituted the office of prieftood merely to intercede, the 
principal part of their office lay, in offering gilts and facTifices 
for fui, typically to remove fin, and reconcile an offended God, 
to ^.n offending finner. Now if this 1 e allowed to Aaron and his 
why fhould any deny this part of Chrift's prieftly office, 
viz. his offering up a real, propitiatory facrifice in the room of 
•ulty ? The principal part of Chrift's prieftly office, I ima- 
gine was executed in the days of his incarnation. That he now 
appears in the prefence of God for us, is owing to his hanging 
on the crofs for us. I may perhaps in the courie of my corref- 
pondence with you, have occafion to be more explicit and full 
on this fubjed, therefore ftiall not anticipate, what will fall in 

t Gal. iv. 9. 

Let. i. (25 ) 

more natively in another place. '*Nn man taketh I lrim- 

r, (lays the Apoftle) but lie thai is call 
\:i r on." Sacifices being of divine inftitution, it ncceffarity 
vs, that no fecrihee cbdkibe ace d, untels 

ed by one, legally fet apart for that pnfpofe. S-.t adds the Ap 
v. 5. Ghrift glorified not h m.c'f, to be made an I 
Pnert. bw he, (viz. God who appointed him to be \c 
unto him, thou art: mv Son, tills day have i begotten fh< e. i [lis 
refers to Acts xni. 33. and is-tpo^en of -theft as touching his re 
furreel ton from the dead; inti. it by God'.- raifmghira 

from the dead, he gave a m< a ample teftjmony to the world, 
that he as Med nfecrated to be the 

Prieff of our pro/en* 1. 1 he Apoftie adds, ?. 6. as he faith alio 
in another' place, th^u art a Pr eft (or ever, &c. but ci this I 
have already Given vou my fentiments. Now, it any one grants, 
that Aaron and his Sons were proper Priefts, appointed by God to 
offer up gifts and facrifices for tins ; why iaould Chrift be denud- 
ed of this principal part of his prieftl office, viz, offering up him- 
felf a facrdice to fatisfy divine juftice, in the room and llead of 
the guilty, particularly, feeing he was appointed to this office by 
the oath of God the Father ? 

Onefimus, if you pieafe to confolt the 29th and 30th Chip, of 
Exod. you will there find the various rites and ceremonies ufed 
at the confecration of Aaron and his Sons, to minifter in the 
PrieiVs office. After the Ram of the cbniccration was offered 
up, and Aaron and his Sons clothed with the holy garments, they 
were with great folemnity anointed With the holy anointing oil, 
and with the blood of the (lain Sacrifices, -j- You will find One ft- 
m>is . that Godteflificd in the fi <ht of ail Kfael, and af<er a very fo- 
lemn manner, that he approved o^ the inftaiment of Aaron into 
the pne^s office by a miracle, there came fire from before the 
Lorci and consumed the victim, which Aaron offered immediate- 
ly after his coniccratioa. 


f Biilup Patrick feems to think, that the ceremonies ufed by the 
Heathens in their Taurobolia, or Cr;boiia, which was the name they 
gave to their Sacrifices of Bulls, was in imitation of the fprinkiing of 
the Aaronical prieithood, with the blood of the fi.iin Sacrifices. It was 
chiefly at the confecration of their Priefts, that thefe kind of Sacrifices 
were offered. They digged a hole in the ground, and caufed the per- 
fon who was to be confecrated to defcend into it; they covered this 
hole with planks that were bored thro' in every part; they offered a 
Bull on thefe planks in fuch a manner, that his blood might pafs thro' all 
the orifices, and fprinkle the perfon ftuuding under them who wss 
deftined to be the High Prieft. 

Let. i. ( 2.6 ) 

Solemn as the tranfa&ions were which took place at the 
fecration of Aaron and his Sons, they lofe much of their folem- 
nity, when compared with thole phsenomena which occurred at 
the inauguration of Jefus into his mediatory offices. Thirty 
years he had lived an obfeure life; the current opinion was, that 
he was the Son of Jofeph and Mary : Demeaning himlelf, as if 
he had no talc to that illurtrious character which he bore eternal 
ages before his incarnation ; as if he had not been inverted with 
this important ccmrmflion, to lay down his life for his fheep. 
The time being now come, in which he mud appear in a more 
active fphere of life, in which he mud: appear on the Theatre of 
this world, as the Prophet. Prieft, and King of his Church: 
To convince the world that Jehovah had not repented of the 
oath which he fwore, in conftituting him a Pried for ever; 
he gave fuch oftenftble proofs of it a: Jordan, that the faith 
of his Difciples and followers might ! e for ever confirmed in 
this grand article, that he is our Mediator between God and 

Whilft John was baptising at Bethabara, beyond Jordan, 
among: the reft that repaired to be baptized by him, Jeua a was 
one: Jefus being baptized, and afcendin.^ out of the waters, a 
voice was heard out of the excellent glory, *' this is m,y beloved 
Son in whom I am well pjeafed." At the fame time the Holy 
Ghoft descended and refted upon him in the fhape of a dove. * 

Are you not amazed Onefimus, at the condefcenuon and grace 
of the ever blefled, and undivided Trinity. V Lord what is 
man that thou art mindful of himl" This grand, and glorious 
fcene took place for us. In order to promote our heft interefc.-, to 
procure our eternal happinefs, our High Pri eft mull be baptized, 
in order to fulfil all ii rhreoufnefs, baptized by one of his own 
creatures, which his own right hand formed out of the duft. Job 
informs us, that when the Almighty laid the foundations of the 
earth, the morning liars fung together, and all the Sons of G'>d 
fhouted for joy. Here was a hetter, a more lure foundation 'aid, 
laid in '//on, to fupport a fintul world, tottering on the brink, of 
endlefs ruin, and wholoever believeth on him ihall not be con- 
founded. Angels rejoiced at his birth; but here the Eternal Fa- 
ther rejoices over his Son, approves of his fubilitution in our 


* Tn Athanafius' time, when the Arian herefy made an alarming pro- 
grefs in the Christian Church, it was common tor the Orthodox, to- refer 
the Arians to Jordan to convince them of their error. Abi Ariane a.d 
Jorrianem et videbii Trinitatem, i. e. O Arian go to Jordan and thou 
wilt fee a Trinity. 

Let. i. ( 27 ) 

digits in him as fuch : (i i his is (©rig. that) my be- 
p -in'inc; at the fafgulafity of his office, as well a:, 
nafiire Wee Aaron and his Sons anointed with the holy oil at 
r conlecration mto the pnefVs office, fo was our Lord J 

trheoH of gladnefs. " The Holy Gholt iti the 

n o£ a dove def tended, and a k ode upon him. He came upon 

•bets, he refted on the Mefftah. You may con' n't at 

yo . OneCimjs, the beginning of the 1 uh and 6ii\ Chap- 

of I'aiah's prophecy, wr.ere vou will fee how the Spirit relied 

»ti the Mediator, and For what end $ consulting thefc you may 

ly let your feal, to what ChriJt himfelf teftifies on this head, 

" the Father giverh not the Spirit to him by meafur 

We need not he amazed at this glorious tranfa6Hon, when wc 
consider, that within the fpace of three years and a half, great 
and glorious things were to be achieved by the Captain of our 
ation. God was to he glorified, an end put to fin, reconci- 
liation procured, an everlafting righreoulnefs brought in, Satan 
fubdued, and miners emancipated from his jailing yoke. How of- 
ten did the Eternal Father teftify his approbation ofChrift's fub- 
ftitiltion in cur room. In the 12th Ch. of John's gofpel, v. 
27, 28. we behold the Sou of God, the Saviour of the world, 
thus petitioning. '•' Father glorify thy name," a voice was heard 
from heaven faying, ** I have both glorified it, and will glorify 
it again." On the mount of transfiguration, and in the pre- 
fence of two celeilial vihtants, and three of his disciples, we find 
a repetition of the fame words, which were heard from the ex- 
cellent glory at Jordan. \ Heaven delighted to dwell on this 
ioiis fuhjeft. We find an approbation oi Jefus extorted 
m. his very enemies; by a fecret impuife which they could 
reh'.l, rhev were ohliged to recognize him as the Son of Da- 
vid, the ICi«g of Ifr. el, the S : men. Hear their f ng of 
pra 1 -n ; their voice of applaufe, (i Ho'anna to the Son of 
David, b'iefled is he that corneth in the name of the Lord to favc 
hna in the higheft !" j! 
One/hum, would jro*! wifn to know fome of thefe endearing 
properties by which the Hi^h Prieft of our profeflion is characte- 
rized in the Scripiures; with pleafure and delight, I would re- 
nroend him to my dear Onefimus, as follows. He is one who 
hath fufficient favour with the Eternal Father to recommend all 
h:s 'clients to the mercy, care, and protection of the Father. 
Who can poffibly entertain a doubt of this, when we confider, 
what he is, how he (lands in Heaven's account: He is God's 


t Mat, xvii. 5. II Mat. rxiv. 9, 

Let. i. ( 28 ) 

Son, his own dear and his beloved Son, bis cleft in 
whom his foul deli^htcth Is it nolfi le N* conceive, that the 
Father will not errant to fuch a one, whatever his lips can crave ? 
" If any man fin, (fays the beloved L 

we have an advocate with the Fathc, Je r us Chrift the righte- 
ous." In the execution of the interceflory part of his prietily of- 
fice, he doth not ftand in the prelence of God for us as a mere 
fupplicnt, interceding for mercy, grace, and pardon, for h's peo- 
ple upon the footing of mere favour. No, but he appears as an 
advocate pleading upon the footing of what is juft, and right. 
He appears in the presence of God for us agenting our eaufe, 
and interceding in our behalf, upon the footing of his own obla- 
tion. He intercedes not for us, as he once did for himfelf, con- 
ditionally. " If it be poflio'e, let this cup pais from me." No, 
but " Father I will," peremptorily, and abfolutely. He once 
in the end of the world, appeared to put away fin by thefacrifice 
of himfelf ; and now in gbry, he appears as a (lain lamb, -willing, 
that all the blelTings and benefits flowing from this atoning lacn- 
fice, be communicated to all his people in due time. Seeing we 
have fuch a prevalent High Pried wtfhin the vail, may we not 
on every occafion adopt the triumphant language of Paul, Rom. 
viii. 33 *' Who fhall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect r 
It is God that juftifieth, it is Chrift that died;" that offered up 
himfelf a piacular victim, a vicarious lacrifice: That rofe again, 
and having difcharged our debt, and eu ven full iatiH l acYion to di- 
vine juftice on earth, he is now at the Father's right ha^d, making 
interceffion for us. Do you complain Onefinv.s, ot ll 
of fin, the prtwer of temptations; are you grieved tor the v 
nefs of your faith, the feeblenefs of your in the h 

Heavens, in the prelence of God, appears a mfrghty, an Almighty 
interceflor; the jnisrhty God in human nature. By the merit 
of h;s death, atid prevalent intercetiion you lliall rile fuperior to 
ail the ftrerigth of (in, and power of he'!, and through hum that 
loved you, be made more than a conqueror. 

He is a faithful High Pricft; ri 
loins, faithfuincis the gircHc of hrs reins. * " In ail thi-i 
hoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that hemighl 
faithful Hi^h Prieft."|| He is a faithful High Prieft in things per- 
taining: to God, and in things pertaining to us. " The council 
of pe ice fhall be between them both," fays an infpired Prophet. 
The relult of this was, Chrift undertook to bear the fins of many, 
by making his foul an offering for fin. Arduous, and difficult 
as this undertaking was in its execution, faithrulnefs bound him 
to the performance. He did not, he could not retracl, until all 

* Ifa. xi. 5. II Heb. ii. 17, 18. 

Let. i. ( 29 ) 

was accompli iTied ; then bowing the head, he gave up the Ghofl 
in this triumphant language, it is finijbed. May we not fafely 
argue, that if he was faithful in things pertaining to God, will 
he not alio he faithful in things pertaining to us ? Surely he will. 

By the fpecial donation of the Father, his fheep were commit- 
ted into his hand; " thine they were and thou gaveft them me." 
At his hand they will he required; hefore tie throne of God they 
w II be prefented ; none fhall he miffing in the day of reckoning. 
" Behold I and the children which thou hail: given me," will 
he his language in that day. There is not a promife contained 
in rheir charter, hut fhall he accomplifhed, j,* for faithful is he 
that huh prom i fed, who alio will perform." " He is faithful 
and will not deny himfelf." There is not a blefling in the 
Covenant of Grace, nor a benefit the purchase of his blood, hut 
they in due time fhall participate of, not a temptation but they 
fhall efcape; in his faithtulnefs he will not fuffer them to he 
tempted, a' eve what they are able to bear. There is not a diffi- 
culty lying in their way to glory, but they fhall furmount; not 
an enemy but they fhall conquer, yea even thelall enemy, death. 
The faint considering the faithfulnefs and truth of his ureat High 
Priell:, may fing oi victory before the conflict be over; may tri- 
umph he lore he enters the field of battle. Depending on ChriiVs 
fa truulne.s, he may fliout, and fing, O death where is thy fling, 
O grave where is thy victory ! 

He is a merciful High Pried; have we any reafon to doubt of 
his mercy towards us, who fuffered the wrath of God for us? 
Can we fuppofe that he is lefs merciful now, m his exalted ilate, 
than he was when tabern cling among men r Hath he mut up 
his bowels of compaffion within the vail, or were they expend- 
ed, and utterly evacuated on miferable objects when here in ^ur 
world? No, he left this world with bowels full of companion, 
with a heart relenting for his poor miferable members. Let us 
follow him in the days of his incarnation, and wherever he went, 
we will find traces of his fympathy and compaffion mown, often- 
times to his very enemies and perfecr.tors. '* i have companion 
on tht multitude," is the language of our merciful High Prieft : 
A multitude, which in a veiy ihoit time was to prejudiced a- 
gaintl him, purely on account of the hcavenhne s or h?s docn me, 
that they all for look him j trampled his me rev under their, 
and treated his grace with d.lda.n. In pronouncing the doom of 
Jerufalem, andfealing the inhabitants of that wicked city in. 
an awful judicial ltroke, this he cannot do, without tears. S 
his heaving heart ! Behold his weeping eyes ! See the dtepe'f . 
compaffion, mixed with the moft ftern jufhee! The Evangel it 
Luke, Ch. xix. c. 41, 42. informs us, that when he came 


Let. i. ( 30 ) 

nigh the City* he beheld it, and wept over it, fa) ing, it thou 
hadft known, even thou at leaft in this thy day the things which 
belong to thy peace, but now they are hid from thine eyes. 
Who could look for companion, in the midrt of fo much unheard 
of cruelty as Jefus experienced on the crofs, at the hands of his 
implacable enemies. Yet in fpite of all their malice, his divine 
clemency appears; when they blafphrmed, he prayed, " Father, 
forgive them." If his howels of companion now and then, 
yearned over his moft inveterate enemies, what could thofe ex- 
peel who made their approaches to hint as a merciful High IVieft, 
under a confeioufnefs of guilt, and a fenfe of manifold infirmi- 
ties ? He exceeded their expectations, rofe in his mercy fuperior 
to their moft unhounded wifh. He made the lame man to leap 
as an hart, the tongue of the dumb to fing; and poured day- 
light into the -eyes of the blind ; he healed the loathfomc leper, 
and rai r ~d the almoft putrid carcafc to life. His companionate 
nature did not ftop here, he poured his grace into their fouls; 
pardoned their fins, enrolled them among the number of the ci- 
tizens of the new Jerufalem; opened the blind eyes, not only to 
fee the fun, but the wonders in his law ; made the deaf to hear, 
not only the language of their fellow creatures, but to hear, and 
obey his own divine and heavenly meflage; made the lame not 
only to walk, but to run in the way of his commandments ; not 
only raifed the dead to life, but made them heirs 6f eternal life, 
and children of the refurre&ion ; not only removed from the le 
per his ulcerous fores, but purified his heart, and made him meet 
to be a partaker of the inheritance of the faints in fight. 

In his mercy and companion, he covers the finful imperfe£li- 
ens, and daily failings of his people j he calls their fins behind his 
back, blots out as a cloud their fins, and as a thick cloud their 
tranfgreflions ; cafts them into the depths of the fea. When 
Joftiua flood up tominifter before the Lord, to execute the prieft- 
ly office, he was clothed in filthy garments; he had jufl left an 
idolatrous wicked country; fomething of the Babylonifh turpi- 
tude cleaved to the Lord's minifter, as much as to afford a handle 
to Satan, to bring in a raiting accufation a^ainft him ; but pot fo 
much as to make our merciful High Prieftjoin in the accufation. 
No, he repels the accuferj and vindicates his own fervant. " The 
Lord rebuke thee O Satan, is not this a brand pluckt out of the 
burning." f Could Peter have reafonabty expe&ed lefs, than 
the mod cutting reproof from a much injured Lord; injured by 
the perfidy of an apoftlc, denied, (and that with an oath) by one, 
who upon feveral occafions had made the jnoft unequivocal con- 
teifion of him, as his Lord and Mafter ? But behold in his cle- 
f Zech. iii. I, 2, 3. &c. 

Let. i. ( 31 ) 

mency, and compafTlon, he forgets the heinous tranfgreffion 
of his Apoftle, and Mots out as a cloud his unprovoked apoftacy : 
His eye of mercy directed to Peter was all the check Peter met 
with, from his, and our Lord. 

But to complete the character, and (how the perfection and 
propriety o r his priefthood, he is an Eternal Prieft. But this man 
becaufe he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priefthood, 
HeS. vii. 24, — 28. For, (fays the Apoftle) the law "maketh 
men High Priefts which have infirmity, but the word of the oath 
which was fince the law, maketh the Son who is confecrared for 
evermore. The legal priefthood was net Suffered to continue by 
reafon of death: The fan^ity of their lives, the importance of 
their office, could not ward off the king of terrors: They fell in- 
discriminately with others by the blow of this lafl enemy, and 
refigned their office to the next in fucceflion. But Jehdvahj 
with the moft folemn oath hath conftituted him a Prieft for ever. 

Do you afk Onsftmus, will Chrift continue in the exercile of 
his prieftly office, viz. the interceflbry part of it, after the con- 
tamination of all things? Will hecontinually appear in the pre- 
fence of God for us ? Will there be any neceffity for his advoca- 
tion ? Any reafon for his mowing himfelf the patron, and advo- 
cate of the redeemed company, when they are ail brought home 
to glory, and fet with him on his throne ? There is one particu- 
lar place of Scripture, which would feem to insinuate* that Chrift 
will no longer appear as our interceding High Prieft, but that 
the execution of this office will be for ever fufpended and laid 
aftde, after the prefentment of all his followers before the throne 
of his glory. I Cor. xv 24. Then cometh the end when he 
{hall have delivered up the Kingdom to God, even the Father, 
when he (hall have put down all rule, and al! authority and po#- 
er, v. 28. and when all things fhall be fuhdued unto h'.rn, that 
put all things under him, that God may be all in all. It mull be 
ConfefTed I think, that this is a very a^ftru r e pafTa:re, and at firtt 
view, would feem to conclude againft Chrift's advocation 
future ftate. When death is deftroyed, when aii for whom He 
died are brought home to glory, and put beyond all p< / 
a relapfe; when Satan is for ever conquered ; toheh all 
ed, the wicked punifhed, m\d the righteous crowned wi:h eternal 
glory; where is the neceflity for his further advocation. But I 
think, difficulties of an infurmountable nature ftare us in the 
face at firft view, if we confidcr this text as intended to point at 
a perpetual ceftation of Chrift's intercefnnn within the vail rn c. 
glorified ftate. How is he to be made fu'»ject to the Father? Is 
there no kingdom, or dominion, to be exer iled in that celeftial 
ftate, but what is eflfential to the whole Gcdheai ? Is the human 


Let. I. ( 32 ) 

nature of Chriil to be then fabjed to the Father, as faints and 
angels will Cbrift was all in all hefore, w'th rcfe- 

rercc to the Church, and from hjsfulnefs did all his myftital bo- 
.-, !o now is the Godhead to be a I, and fill all t! 

to the Mediator. 1 w uld rather 
• of this obfeure paflage :n he this, viz. that the 

•1 Chrifl which he pofTeifes by delegation 
from the Father, IhaH ceafe with regard t» ,ts prefent mode of ad- 
ininiib.ation ; that that rule, authority, and power, (hall not be 
exercifed in the fame manner as now; ordinances fhall cea r e, 
thro' which God communicates his bleffings anti 
prace, iiull there he no more requifite: That intuitive vifion the 
faints mail enjoy, will fuperfede the ufc of all thefe means which 
aie neceffary here: i4 There will he no temple there,*' i. e. no 
temple ordinances, they (hall he honorably laid afiJe, becaule 
not neceffary there. God ihali he all in all to his faints, i. e. 
inilead of ail thefe means, through which life and falvation were 
communicated to his people here. By saving the text this turn, 
it, at lead frees us from the many, and I think unanfwera' le 
difficulties, with which we would he em^arraffed in denying the 
eternity of Chrift's interceflion. But how is he to be a Pried for 
ever according to Jehovah's oath, if God he fo all in all, as to fu- 
perfede Chrift's interceflion, in our glorified (late ? You will 
find a text very appofite toour purpofe, in Rev. vii. 17. "The 
Lamb in the midft of the throne (hall feed them," even that 
•fame Lamb of God, which in the days of his incarnation here en 
earth, took away their fins by his blood'j and by the fame Mood 
fancTi tied their natures, and made them meet for glory. It would 
feem evident from this text, that all the felicity of the celeftial 
(late, all the communications from D<*ity, mud: neceflarily flow 
to the faints, through the Lamb. It is very obfervable, that in 
all the accounts of the heavenly (late, in the book of the Reve- 
lation, Chrift as the Lamb, is, never omitted, fee Ch. xxii. v. 1. 
" And he fhowed me, (fays John) a pure river of the water of 
life clear as cryfral, proceeding out of the throne of God, and the 
Lamb." Fulnefs of pleafures, and thefe unfulned, will be the 
eternal portion of all the fedeemed from among men. Thefe 
eternal pleafures, thefe redundant joys, from whence do they 
proceed ? From Deity (imply, and abdraclly ? No, hut from 
the Lamb which is in the midft of the throne. •? He fhall (it a 
Pried upon his throne," for ever and ever, not offering himfelf a 
lacrifice, but in a way inconceivable to us, prefenting the infi- 
nite virtue, and value of his facrifice here on earth, as the ground 
and reafon of the faints perpetually enjoying the vifion, and 
fruition of the Lord God Almighty. 

I fhall 

Let. i. ( 33 ) 

I (hall conclude my letter, with a few practical obfervations ; 
and thefe, with a particular reference to vour preient anxious 
concern a'>out your eternal interefts. You are felicitous to know, 
how you a r e to he faved : An enquirv certainly of the gresteft 
weight, of the utmofr. imp?rtance. " What will it avail a man, 
if he fh^u'd gain the whole world and lofe his own foul:" And 
what will a man's fincerity avail him, in a way that God never 
appointed for Oil vat ion. Will God alter his method of falvation 
for anv man's belief, let his fincerity be never fo unfeigned r In 
order to reftore tranquillity to your anxious mind, and repofe to 
your troubled conference, pardon isab.blutcly necefTary, pardon 
for infinite offences, pardon for heinous tranlVrefiions. Who is 
the purchafer of this pardon ? Our High Pried. V\ hat was paid 
down a- the ranfom for fin ? Ch rift's Hood. How are wc 
ally interefted in this ranfom? By faith, which is the gift or 
God. Row is this faith to be obtained ? By repairing to him by 
prayer, " from whom every good and perfect gift comes." CH- 
ferve the language of the ap^ftle, Heb. x. 21, 22. " And 
having, (fays he,) an Hia-h Priell over the houle of God; let 
us draw near with a true heart in full afTurance of faith, having 
our hearts fprinkied from an evil conference." &c. What is 
your relief in ail your ftraits, Onefitnus? Where do you repair, 
opprelVd with grief, furrounded with trials; when all refuge fails 
you, when within are fightings, and without are fears ? Is it not 
to God, by prayer; " O Lord, (fays David, a man given to 
prayer,) I am cpprefTed, undertake for me.' What gives >ou 
encouragement to approach fuch a holy Lord God, a God of 
fpotlefs purity ? Is it not, becaufe you have a gfeat High Prieft 
within the vail. What an encouragement was it ro old Jacob, 
to go down into Egypt* '.vhen hib fon J^fepli was there before 
him, and mailer of all the ftore-houfes He could not but meet 
with a welcome reception from his fon : The fon could net but 
confult the happinefs of the Father. What encouragement have 
we to go to God by prayer ; v. e have en the throne, one who is 
near of kin to us, bone of our hone, and fleih of our ficih : And 
in whom, all the fulnefs or the Godhead dwells bodily. Jn birn 
are hid all the treafures of wifdom and knowledge, grace and glo- 
ry. M Let us come boldly to the throne of grace," which has 
for its bads, judgment and juftice: Juftice fatUried, and judg- 
ment executed upon our Lord Jefus, our atoning High 
Prieft. View O/ufimus, what iurrounds this throne, Rev. iv. 
3. " There was round about the throne a rainbow in fight like 
unto an emerald." A rainbow, an emblem of God's covenant 
of grace, confirmed and ratified in the blood of the fiain Lamb. 
A covenant, replete with the moft ineflimable bleflings, an in- 

D tereil 

Let. i. ( 34 ) 

Jered in God as our God, the promifc of pardon and peace, pre- 
servation from evil, and pcrfeverance in a date of grace, until 
grace be fwallowed up in glorv. This covenant never waxes 
old: God will never forget it ; it furrounds his throne, it is in 
%ht, like unto an emerald. After the waters of the flood 
had fubfided, and the ark reded on the mountain Ararat; Noah 
built an altar unto the Lord, and facrificed thereon; from this 
facrifice, Jehovah fmelled a fweet favour, a favour of reft: And 
Jehovah laid in his heart, that he would no more curfe the earth 
for man's fake, f Afterwards we find the great Jehovah entering 
into a covenant with Noah, and every living creature, and as a 
fymbol of this covenant, he fet his bow in the cloud, to allure 
Noah, to affure us, that fuch a judgment fhould never befal the 
world again to the end of time. [| From the facrifice that the 
LaK.ibofGod offered up here on earth, a facrifice to make an 
atonement for our fouls, God fmelled a favour of red; and this 
is the refult, God's anger is turned away, a covenant of grace 
edablidied between God and his faints; in which, he hath mod 
folemnly engaged, ne^er to turn away from them, to do them 
good. In all your difficulties Oneftmus, you may appeal to the 
throne of grace. Who fits on this throne ? A God of grace, 
a reconciled God in Chrid : Not an inexorable- judge, ifluing 
forth thundrings and lightnings from his throne: It is not a God 
whole dread may make you afraid, under whofe tremendous arm 
you may be cruflied, or who, with an indignant frown will drive 
you from his prefence, as Chrid drove the buyers and fellers out 
of the temple. No, he that fits on the throne is Emmanuel, God 
with us, God in our nature, God on our fide; who has a fellow 
feeling with us in all our infirmities, becaufe he was in all points 
tempted as we are. 

May we not Oneftmus, plainly fee in the prieflhood of Chrid, 
the lured bafis laid for finners of every defenption, who ^y faith 
Hy lor refuge to this hope fet before them. '" * But this man be- 
eacfe he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priefthood : 
Vv herefore he is able alio to fave to the very uttermod, all rhat 
come unto God by him, feeing he ever liveth to make intercefli- 
on foi them."* He is an all powerful High Pried, he is able to 
fave in the mod defperate cafes, to the very lad verge of time. 
"\\ hen here on earth, how liberally, and freely did he difpenfe 
his free grace, and precious falvation to the mod unworthy, to 
the veried wretches ever exided; a foundation is laid in his 
blood, for finneis to ex peel: deliverance from wrath : He ever lives 
to fee to the application of that falvation, purchafed by him on 
earth. Who could ever have imagined, that falvation would 


t Gen. viii. 20, 21. II Ch. ix. 12, 13. * Heb. vii. 24. 25. 

Let. i. ( 35 ) . 

have come the way of Mary Magdalene; a nuifance to man- 
kind, funk in licentioufnefs, abandoned to all manner of un- 
cleannefs r* Yet a gracious and merciful Saviour, d d notd.c'ain 
to fave her from her fins, and adopt her into his family, and enrol 
her name among the number of the juftified, and fa notified inChrift 
Jelus. O that finnefs would but cred t his own gracious decla- 
ration ! iC Him that cometh unto me I will in no wife call out." 
Are not his thoughts above our thoughts, and his ways aboi e our 
ways. Who would have imagined, that there mould have been 
wrought fuch a miracle of mercy at fo late an hour, as happened 
in favour of the thief on the crofs : The one moment, in con- 
cert with his finful companion, reviling the Saviour of the world; 
the next moment Jefus fmiling on him, alluring him of a happy- 
entrance into paradife, where he himfe'f was chat day to he. Ne- 
ver was the Devil fo much disappointed : What malice and cha- 
grin, would fill the heart of that dark revolted pirit, to find him- 
felf baffled at fuch a period. What an unaccountable thing, to 
fee grace triumphing at fo late an hour. How would he curie 
the crofs, that fpoiled him of his prey. Conlider thou nvious, 
curfed fpirit, it is not all loft that is in danger. Oar High Prieft 
is able to fave to the uttermoft. Ye oMlina:e linners, ye pre- 
fumptuous tranfgreflors, ye that add iniquity to fin, beware of 
abnung God's grace, and flighting Gh rift's i'alvarion when in 
your offer, expecting falvation at a late hour. Here is one in- 
ftance, that none may del pair, and but one, that none may pre- 
fume. Are you certain, that God will grant his grace, when he 
afflicts you with his hand r Are you fure, that in that tremen- 
dous hour, when death will attack you, thftt Chrilr. will come, 
and make you fharers of his falvation ? Rather dread, that in pur- 
fuing a courle of wickednefs, and flighting the day of your mer- 
ciful violation , that he will laugh at your calamity, and mock 
when your fear cometh; —hen your fear cometh as defolation, 
and your deftruction cometh as a whirlwind ; when diftrcis and 
anguifti cometh upon you, then (hall they call upon me, but I 
will not anfwer; thev (hall leek me early, but they ihall not find 
me. f Therefore inftead of finding ialvacioa at that late hour ye 
expected, yeflial! eat of thefruit of your own ways, and be filled 
with your own devices- 
May we not fee Onefimus, how much they di (honour the Sa- 
viour, and difcourage the convinced finner, who encLv.vour to 
divefl Chrift of his prieftly office. For if he is not a Prieft, nc 
atoning facrihee has been offered up for our fins; and in this 

t Prov. i. 26, 27, 28, 31. 

Let. i. ( 36 ) 

cafe, we mufl make a direct application to the merit of our own, 
(fa lily fo called) good works: For good works, without a lively 
faith in the perfon, death, and mediation of Jefus, is a myftery, 
the Scriptures know nothing of. Such as deny his Deity, can 
fcarce expect falvation hy his facrifice: Neither would I, Oneft- 
mus, if I entertained the fame notion. For a creature, as the Sa- 
viour of the Arians and Socinians is, to hear the fins of a guilty 
world, to endure the wrath of an angry God, to finim tranfgreffi- 
on, to bring in an everlafting righteoufnefs, would he too much, 
to be expected at his hand: All that fuch a Saviour could give, 
or could reasonably be expected from him, confifts in the exam- 
ple he hath fet before us, in his life, the inftructions left us by 
the doctrines he taurht, and fealing as a Martyr, the truths 
which he as a Prophet delivered : Consequently, for all that he 
fuffered on thecrofs, we mufl: make the beft of our way to glory, 
by our own works. But what if God re r pects no mail's works 
in the matter of juftification ? Do you reply, this certainly is im- 
poflible, or elfe the world feems to be in a great m< flake. We 
may allow the world to be miflaken, but I think we cannot en- 
tertain the remcteft thought, that the apoflle was mifteken. 
Doth he not roundly tell the Galatians, tell us, and all fucceflive 
generations to the end of time, that a man is not juftified by the 
works of the law, but by the faith of Jefus Thrift, f Obferve he 
ufes the fame language in his epiftle to the Romans, Ch. iii. 
28. Therefore, (fays he,) we conclude, that a man is juftified 
by faith, without the works of the law. 

What a pitiable dilemma mufl a poor finner be reduced to, in 
q<jeft of falvation, and embracing the Arian or Socinian hypo- 
thecs. He views the Saviour as a creature who lived a holy life, 
and died a Martyr for the truth : No complete and vicarious Sa- 
tisfaction made by his death to the juflice of God: For as I for- 
me ly hinted, who could expect: pardon at a creature's hand, or 
at the hand of a God by grace, as thefe men exprefs themfelves. 
This door then is at once (hut. But there yet remains another 
open : But it happens to be a door, that God hath fhut, and ne- 
\ zt will open for any man. What is this door, by which thefe 
men n.uft believe they (hall enter the celeftial regions ? Endea- 
vour t 1 live honeftly, give of your goods to feed the poor, open 
your do? r to the ftranger, protect the fatherlefs and widow; in 
a wo d, /o all the* good you can. All thefe moral virtues are 
very sood, all thefe will be found in the juftified in Chrift Jefus, 
but all this group of virtues, will never juftify any man before 
God's tribunal. Thefe are not a fatisfact^rv rigl tecufnefs, fuffi- 
cient to magnify the law, or Satisfy the infinite incenfed juftice 

t Gal. ii. 16. 

Let. i. ( 37 ) 

of God. But what if a (inner, confcious of guilt, and afraid of 
falling into the hands of the living God, fees this ? What if the 
confeflion and acknowledgment that the church makes flafh con- 
viction in his confcience, and roundly informs him, that all his 
rishteoufnefs, is as filthy rags ? This corrohorated hy Paul's 
pofitive afTertion, brings him almoft to the very brink of deipair. 
Do you remember Onefimus, the advice that Paul gave to the 
philippian Jaylor: " Believe in the Lord Jefus Chrift and thou 
lhalc be laved." Do you remem N er the iermon Peter preached 
to Cornelius, when he being forewarned by God in a vifion, 
fent for him from Joppa ; did he (land up and harangue the Cen- 
turion, on his prayers, his alms, deeds, &c. &c. and inform 
him, thefe would juftify his perfon, and recommend him to the 
divine favour, thefe would procure the remiffinn of his fins, and 
an entrance into glory r No, he preached Je'us, and the refur- 
rection; that Jefus, by whom we have redemption, even the for- 
givenefs of our fins ; by whofe atonement and merit we are made 
accepted, and our title to the glorious inheritance ascertained. 
" To him, (fays he,) gave all the Prophets witnefs, that thro* 
this name, whomever believeth in him, fhall receive remiflion of 
fins." But I am rather anticipating myfelf here, as I propofe in 
fome future epiftle, to dwell longer, and enlarge more copiouily 
on this fubject. In the mean time, my dear Onefimus, let Emma- 
nuel, God in our nature, on our fide, be precious to you: Let 
this precious and admirable truth dwell in you; that Jefus is our 
atoning and interceding High Prieft. Habitually dwell on the 
glory of his perfon, the fuitab'enefs of his offices; glory in his 
holy name, that when the earthly houfe of this tabernacle drops, 
and your earthly part refigned to the dull:, your immortal fpirit 
may enter into Paradife, to be for ever with the Lord. That 
this may be the happy attainment of my Onefimus, is, and ever 
will be, :he eameit praver of 

Yours mod affectionately, 



Let. 2. ( 38 ) 

frtL &fa J&& J&**1 &*${, .f^-fc J*"*, 


My dear Onefimus, 

Received yours; am glad to hear of your perfect recovery 
rrom your late indifpofition. May you long live to fhow 
forth the prai of him who hath called you out of darknefs, into 
his marvellous (ight Mav the thread of your natural life be long 
protracted, to convince the world by your virtuous practice and 
c rfation, that an entire dependance on Emmanuel's righte- 
on'r) eternal falvation, is by no means inimical to the inte- 
rests fsj that the grace of God, communicated to you 
through the medium of the gof pel of peace, hath taught you, 
" to live foberly, righteoufly, and godly, in this prefent evil 
world. 1 you take notice in yours, of the variegated and mu- 
table (late of all fublunary enjoyments here below: Everyday 
OncfumiSy may convince us of this important truth. This is a 
aaeiled by the wifeft of mtn. <e There is no abiding 
flung under the fun," " One generation goeth, and another 
th." W hat (rrange changes doth every revolving day in- 
troduce ! Tuft now I was reading the news paper, and I find in 
the fame c >!umn, a bill of mortality, with a regifter of births and 
triage*. How often is the fame houfe, alternately the houfe 
of 1 :h> and forrow. — How often do we find the hearts of fond 
parents leaping within them for joy ; when they view with an 
eye of parental affection, their growing offspring as " tender 
nd about their table." But alas ! how often is their 
joy turn'd into fadnet's, and their mirth into lamentation. Death 
calls its fable mantle over«thefe mooting branches, and cuts them 
down ere they be grown; configns them to the duft, and with 
them, the hope, and comfort of furviving parents. Let us view 
the field of battle, what a difmal fcenc 1 what different effects, 
are the refult of a martial engagement. No fooner doth the re- 
port of victory reach the Capital, than acclamations of joy meet 
you in every corner. Every artifice that the wit of man can de- 
vife, is ufed on the occafion, todemonffrate the joy of the inha- 
bitants: Yet in the midft of all this hilarity, there is always found 
an air of dejection in the countenances, and contending pafli- 


Let. 2. ( 39 ) 

ons in the breads of not a few. Parents weeping for their loft 
Children; widows for their afFecT.iona:e Huibands, who fell, glo- 
riouily fell, in the defence or their rehgion, lives, and liberty. 
Our g^eatefl: pleasures, are always mix r with pain. The faireft, 

and fweeteft Rented ro'e, grows on a ptickly thorn- In the 

fame news paper, I find a 1 account of a great and opulent mer- 
chant turned bankrupt. How often has adverie winds, and boif- 
tero^ feas, turned the rhoft wealthy to beggary. Happy for thofe 
who have laid up " treafurcs, where the mcth cannot devour, 
no' ruil corrupt, nor thieves break through to ileal :" W here no 
untoward accident can ever reac'.i. Within the vail where Ch nil 
is, all is fecure; without nothing is certain. " Riches take 
to themfelves wings and fly away." I am alfo at the fame 
time, and thr^us:h the 'ame medium, informed, of fome 
who are jull now ras'd to !plendid fortunes, who were 
poor before The Lod in his allwife providence, " mak- 
eth p:>o^, and ooaketh nch.*' O nay iuch as pofTefs this world's 
atfl :ence pounder, that they are but Rewards of the good things 
or" God's providence; and that they mud render an account to 
the great giver, how they difpofe of the jilt! Othat fuch 
would view the pomp and -lory of this prelent world, with So- 
lomon's perspective: This man, the wifeft, and probably the 
richeil of men, indulg'd himfelf in everv thing that might re- 

: natu-e ; but ihort-'ived were his pieafure-, un'ausfaclory 
his purluits; he outlived them all. Before he closed his eyes on 
trus world, he wi motto on every created enjoyment, a 

np'to which he exn.r en Jd to be truej which Succeeding ages 
after him, have <et their iea! to, " Vanity o~ vanities, all is va- 
nity."- Happy for the genuine Chrjftian, he has fomethirtg to 
fupp ift the failures enjoyment*: Some- 

thing which • can give, or take - Obferve 

(imus, tne ferap : c fong of an old T (lament believer, a 
liever of no mean ftature indeed, i mean the prophet Habakkuk: 
" .. e,) the fig-tree (ball not bloiTnn, neit ler 

in the v ui of the olive (he 1! fait j and 

the no meat,' the flocks fhall be cut fffrom 

fo!d.-, in i c i - h ill bt n i herds in the flails : Yet will I rej i 
in the Lord, e in the God of my falvation." q. d. I 

- in God my Saviour, what is more 
eni kte to. the lofsofall Creature comforts. 
Let them i e gone, my God remains. My heart, and my flelli 
may, and wit) fail, hut God will tail me n:ver. That rohe of 

:eou ne.'s, and th cms of faivation, the pu r c.:a"e ot 

Em . .;d a foundation for that Evangelical Prophet liaiah, 

to exprefs himfelf in theie ieraphic drains ; '* I will greatly re- 

Let. 2- ( 40 ) 

joice in the Lord, my foul mill be joyful in my God, for he hath 
clothed mc with the rohe of righteoufnefs, and with the gar- 
ments of falvation f A ro'^e of ri^hteouinefs, wrought out by 
the great High Piicft. of our profeflion, in the human nature, in 
the offering up of him'elf to God, a facrifice without fpot, or 
blemifti. For, (fays the Apoftle,) it is of necetiity, that this 
man have fomewhat to offer." J The fame infpircd penman, 
informs us what this mm actually off r'd 4< But now once in 
the end of the world, hath he appeared to put away fin, by the 
facrifice of himfelf." § " So Chrift was once offer'd to bear the 
fins of many." If it was a peculiar part of the facerdotal functi- 
on under the law, to offer up facrifices for the fins of the 'people ; 
then Chrift mult be a proper Prieft, feeing he had fomewhat to 
offer, he actually offer'd up fomewhat. And what this offering 
was, we may come to know, by confulting the Prophet Ifai- 
ah, Cap. xliii. v. 10. When thou lha!t make his foul an of- 
fering for fin. If we want to know the object to whom this ob- 
lation was made, together with its final caufe, Paul will in- 
form us of thefe; Heb. ix:. 14. How much more fhall the blood 
of Chrifl:, who through the Eternal Spirit, offered himfelf with- 
out fpot to God, purge your confeiences from dead works, to 
ferve the living God. The facrifice offer'd up by our High 
Pried, was his holy human nature, confifting of a human foul, 
and body united: " A body haft thou prepared me," '* when 
thou (haft make his foul an offering for fin." This then was the 
facrifice ; but how could the oblation of Chrift's human nature 
cxpate iin, finifh tranlg r efrion, and bring in an everlafting 
righteoufnefs ? No ctherwife that I can conceive, but by that 
ftri6r. indiffolvable union, that fuh fitted between the divine and 
human nature, in his perfon. This was the Altar, (the divine 
nature,) that fan&ify'd the gift, and render'd it efficacious to 
anfwer all the purpofes of God's glory, and man's falvation. 
For this reafon, the blood which he (bed, is fometimes calPd the 
blood of GW* Feed the church of God which he hath pur- 
chafed with his own blood. || Do you aik Onftmusy what I un- 


t Ifai. hi. 10. t Heb. viii. 3. 

§ Cap. ix. 26, 28. * Acts xx. 28. 

Upon the Socinian, and Arian fcheme, redemption through the 
blood of Jefus cannot reafonablj be expected. It is fit and congruous, 
that the perfon that fuffered fiSould pofTefs the fame fpecific human na- 
ture that finn'd. But according to the Arian fcheme, the Mediator had 
no human nature: For inftead of a human foul, they maintain that a 
certain fuperangelic fpirit which God created from the beginning of the 
world, actuated and inform'd that body conceiv'd in the womb of the 


Let. 2. f 41 ) 

derftaid by the hvpoftatical Union of Chrift's two natures ? Do 
I thoroughly und^rfrand, or can I by my reafon com it ? 

Ye^, I c j n as eafily nndcrftand tt, and as Fully con.prehend it, a> 
1 .an understand and comprehend the nature of God; and yet 
lily reafon obliges me to bdieTe he exift> ; 01 the union between 
my foul and my body, and yet feif confeioufnefs o liges me 
credit that there is fuch a thins:: Yea, J have Fully as clear an 
idea of my Saviour, God and Men, as I have of the Arian'o Su- 
per-Angelic fpirit united to 2 human body; or the Socinian's ex- 
traordinary man, formed in the w^mbof the Virgin Mary above 

feventeen hundred yeirs as:o Do vou afk, was it abfolutefy 

neceflTary, that cur His:h Prielt, Emmanuel, God in our nature 
mould offer up him "elf a faenfice? Couid net fin be remitted, 
and the tranfgreflbr faved, hut by the death of Chriit, as a propi- 
tiatory vicarious faenfice? 

To vour query, I mi^ht briefly anfwer in the words of the 
Holy Ghoft. Without fheddng of blood there is no remiflion. \ 
We have no reafon I think to imagine that God would have 
delivered up his own Son to the death for finners, if either the 
blood of Bulls and Goats; the moral obedience of the delin- 
quent ; the efficacv of ChriiVs doctrine, or the force of his exam- 
ple, would have anfwer'd the ends and purpofes of God\ g'o- 
ry, or man's falvation. 

Permit me here On>ftmus, to be a litt'e more particular on this 
fubjeel:. Let us take a curfory view of the nature and perfecti- 
ons of that glorious being againft whom fin is committed, in or- 
der to convince us of the necelTitv of the death of Jefus, in order 
for reiniiuon. If then, this great and glorious being whom we 
have crFended, be eflcntially holy and juft, juft and holy, by a 
neceffity of nature ; if he bears a perfect averfion to that vile and 
n in able thing fn, as diametrically oppofite to the fan&ity of 
his nature, and the righteoufntfs of his law; which cannot be 
^nied by none, that prcfefs a belief in the facred 
crae'es : Then it moil neceflartly follow, that fin muit be pu- 

h'd, either in the perlon of the (inner, or in the perfon of a 
furfcty, previous to the reception of the finner into favour. The 
Scriptures every where celebrate the holinefs of the divine na- 
ture, and God's difpiicency and hatred again ft fin. " Thou 
art of purer eyes, than to behold fin, and canft not look upon 


Virgin Mary. As the Arians dived him of his human nature, Socini- 
ans confine the perfonal ftru&ure of Jefus to humanity entirely. Con- 
fcquently thei'c men mult refer their votaries to fomething eife for Sa% 
vation than to the Bhod of their Jefus. 

t Heb. viii. 23. 

Let. 2. ( 42 ) 

iniquity, + Now, fincc justice and holiness are cffential perfecti- 
ons of the divine Being, it neceflarily follows, that fin cannot 
go unpunuYd. The diftributivc juftice of God requires, that 
" every one mould receive according to the deeds done in the 
body. || It is true, that God'> hatred of fin, is by no means at- 
tended with that emotion and perturbation of mind, which we 
feel when offended: But the gicateil deteftation, jo,n'd with a 
certain and conftant determination to pun fh it. And there is 
vou will find, a necefTary connexion cftabhih d between God's 
hatred of fin, and his determination to pumih it. Obferve the 
language of the royal Pialmift on this head Pal. xi. 5. 6. 
But the wicked, and him that loveth violence, his foul hateth. 
Being wicked, God (hall, God mud treat him as fuch " Up- 
on the wicked he mail rain fire and brimftone, and an horrible 
temped. " The infpired Apoftle of the Gentiles, fpeaks the fame 
language, eftablifhes the fame pofition. Rom. ii. 8, 9 In- 
dignation, and wrath : — Tribuiation, and anguifh, upon every 
foul of man that doth evil. 

Further, holinefs being an efTential perfection of the divine na- 
ture, it necefTarily follows; that it cannot poifibly be an indiffe- 
rent thing for God, to hate fin, or not ; because he is holy, not 
by an att of his will, but by a neceflity of nature. And as vin- 
dictive juftice, is as eflential to his nature as hoi nefs, it mud al- 
fo neceiTarily follow, that it cannot be an indifferent thing for 
him to puniih fin, nr not, as he pleafes. Suppofmg then, fin to 
take place, and God's hatred of fin eflential to his nature, it ot 
courfe follows, that juftice muff, be fatisfy'd, and fin pardon'd, 
before the offender be receiv'd into favour. You mutt obferve 
Omf:n::is, that there is a mod material difference hetweenr the ex- 
ercise of, the clemency and goodnefs, and the e\ the jui- 
tice and holmefs of the divine nature. He may communicate 
the former, when, and unto whom he pleafes. God% a&s of 
mercy and companion are purely arbitrary; not io his acts of 
juftice. Hie former, with regard to exercifc, flow from the di- 
vine will, the luter from the divine nature. The lofty and 
glorious descriptions of the goo'dneis and clemency of God, 
militate nothing againft the nature of his vindictive juftice, or 
that confli'it determination of God to puniih fin. One reaion 
perhaps, (among many othejs) may he aflign'd, why God is fo 
often defenbei in fcripturc as more prone to the exercife of 
mercy than judgment; becaufe when God puniines the finner, 
there is but a very fparing difcovery made or the divine nature; 
but in acls of mercy, we fee (0 to fpeak) the all of God; all 
the perfections of God are develop'd, and expos'd to open view. 

t Habak. i. 12. II Rom. i. iS. 

Let. 2. ( 43 ) 

With regard to the (inner received into favour, whofe fins are 
pardon'd, whofe nature is fan&ify'd, and he finally fav'd; there 
is juftice, yea, and a glorious difplay of that perfection too, 
as well as the amiable perfection of mercy : But with regard to 
fuch as for their fins, are finally condemn'd, there is only the 
exercite of juilice without mercy. There is a combination of 
-all the perfections' of Deity in one (ingle a£t of pardoning mercy. 

This nec-?ffity of nature in God to punifh fin, is not a phyfi- 
cal, but a moral, rational neceffity: it is ftill in the power of his 
own hand, and his mod ibverei* n, and righteous will, to diverfi- 
fy, and modify the punifhment tinners defer vc for their moral 
tranfgre (lions, to derer it for a time, or not, to transfer it from 
the perfonal tranfgrehvr, or not. It was mil in the power of his 
fovereign will to have punifh d the old world, either fooner, or 
later than he did; or to have divcriify'd the puniihmenf. But 
although the time and mode of piinifhing finners be llill lodg'd 
in the power of his own fovereign free will, yet the actual pu- 
nifhing iinners lies in, and flows from the perfe&ion, purity, 
and inflexible juftice of his nature. 

The punitive ju'l^ce of God, or his invariable determination 
to punifh fin, obtains the funrage even of the Heathens themfelves. 
From whence arifes thofe dreadful terrors in the confeience, 
xvhich fhake the tinner's whole frame ? From whence proceed 
thofe occult lafhes from God's vicegerent ? Do they not flow 
from a certain dread and tenor of punifliment at the hand of 
an infinitely holy, and jufl: God? || Why do men fear, if God 
was all me r cy ; or ii he was not by a neceflity of nature bound 
to call them to an account, and reckon with them according to 
their deeds^ Confeience God & deputy in the foul of man, is 
both the index y and judex of moral tranfgrelnons: It points di- 
rectly to them; it partes fentence immediately on them. Ob- 
ferve the lan<ruge of inspiration on this head, which fhow the 
works of the law written in their h earls, their confeience alfo 
bearing witnefs, and their thoughts the mean while accufing, 
or el e excufing one another, -f c ee the acknowledgment of the 
Barbarians at Melitus; when Paul and the rejl of his compani- 
ons were fhip-wreck'd and caft on that Iiland; a viper faftning 
on Paul's hand, they immediately concluded, that he had been 
fome flagitious wretch, which although he had efcap'd the dan- 
gers of the deep, yet vengeance would not fuffer him to live. J 
For what end were piacular facrifices offer'd among thofe defti- 
tute of divine revelation, but to appeafe the wrath of their an- 
gry Gods, and to efcape the punimment they dreaded, was 
their due on account of their crimes. Permit 

II Witnefs Beltefhazzar. t Rom. ii. 15. X A£ts xxviiii. 34. 

Let. 2. ( 44 ) 

Permit me again Oneftmus to prove the necefiity of ChrifPs 
atonement and fatisfaction, from this confuieration, viz. that 
no reafon can poffibly he aflignM, why, without an abfolute ne- 
cefiity, God, an infinitely jufl:, righteous, and holy God, fhould 
make his own dearly, and only be rotten Son, a curie, and (in, 
(which I fhall prove afterwards) f>r us, if any other expedient 
could have been fallen upon, to effectuate this falutary fcheme 
offalvation. The infinite wifdom of God contrived this admi- 
rable union between the two natures in the perion of his Son; 
t' is Son, the affectionate Father expos'dto the greateit fufferings 
and the mofl cruel reproaches, and at laft to an accurfed death, 
as a ranfom for our fins. Thefe fufferings of his, were a long 
time prior to the period in which they were actually inflicted, 
foretold in various and obfeure ways ; prefigured, and held forth 
by the whole train of facrifices impos'd by God on the whole 
body of the Jewifh nation. God out of divine fovereignty, and 
after fo many other atrocious crimes as the world had been guil- 
ty of, permitted a finful generation, to {lain their hands in the 
blood of his Son; from the view of which atrocious deed, the fun 
(hrunk back and withdrew its rays. A crime, which th^ 
whole body of the Jewifh nation, are to this day groaning under. 
For this, God hath to this prefent period, il fhut them up in 
unbelief." Would not all this Oneftmus, to fpeak with reve- 
rence, Jeeivi a kind of folemn farce, if there had nor been a ne- 
cefiity for the Son of God to have died, in order for our redemp- 
tion ? Would not the whole of this fcene feem directly repug- 
nant to the goodnefs, the wifdom, and the ju.'lice of the divine 
nature; without any necefiity, or fuch, as might have been fu- 
perfeded to proceed after this manner, in a mere arbitrary way ? 
If you reply, that God might act after this manner, in order to 
nnnifeil, that his ri^ht and authority over the Creature was 
fuch, that he might, in a confiftency with the glorious perfecti- 
ons of his nature, inflict the mofl: grievous torments, even on 
the innocent. I queflion much Ouefttnus, if it would be agree- 
able to the nature, or confident with the perfections of Deity, 
to punifn an innocent Creature; at lead if he could claim this 
right and authority, we have no inflancesof it: Or if at any 
time he might inflict the mofl grievous torments on the inno- 
cent, yet furely, one would imagine he would not act in this 
manner with his beloved, and only begotten Son, in whom he 
flill teflified that " he was well pleafed." || I think you will 


II Why then did Chrift fuffer? He was innocent, perfectly holy, 
yet 4t God fpared him not." The only reafon, and a fcriptural one 
too, was, that " he was made (in for us." Our fins were imputed to 
hia», and hw, in a iacrihcal fenfe died for their purgatioa. 

Let. 2. ( 45 ) 

fcarcely reply, that the whole of this tranfa&ion was order'd by 
the arbitrary will of God, for confirming the falutary doctrines 
that his beloved S^n taught. I imagine fnch a fuggeftion is 
contrary both to fcripture, rea r on, and experience; certainly, 
God in the depths of his Sovereign wifdom could find out other 
means, of a far eafier nature, by which the doctrines of falvation 
might be confirm'd, than by the dreadful paflion, and moil cx- 
qnifite fufTerin^s of his dear Son. Doth not the lcriptures in- 
form us, that this was effected by ChrifVs miracles, and by the 
native demonftration of the truth in the c^nciences of men; by 
thefe things we find him approving himfelf to the Di'ciples of 
John, || and even to the whole multitude ; f in a word, we ga- 
ther from experience, and Scripture, that Chrift cruciiy'd was 
unto the Jews a ftumhling block, and to the Greeks foolifhnefs. 

Again, I am fure you will be far from entertaining this no- 
tion, that it was necefTary we fhould be taught by fuch an awful 
leflbn, that it is through much tribulation we mull enter the 
kingdom. For if nothing elfe was intended, we mi^ht have 
been fufficiently taught this, by the example of other Martyrs ; 
and I am fure there is not one that enter 1 d the celeftal glory, 
fince the gates of glory were open'd, that have been call'd to 
fuffer fo many great and dreadful indignities as Chrill did, nor 
ever will. W hy then were we all to be taught by the example 
of the Son of God, that the gate or* Heaven is on no other terms 
open, but by paffing through a fcene of the mol direful fufrer- 
ings? Unlefs then, we maintain that fatisfa&ion was made to 
the juftiee of God, bv the fuffering of Chrift, and in no other 
way fatisfa£tion could be made; there can no other jail and 
wife reafon, and worthy of God, be ever affi^n'd why Ghfift 
fhould have fufFer'd as he did. I am lure Onefmns, you i e 
far from thinking that no fatisfa6tion was neceiTirv on ac- 
count of the juftice of God; but that he" exacted it on ac- 
count of fome other perfections of his nature, namely, to de- 
clare his power and will t:> punfh (in, which he might fuffer 
to pafs unpunifh'd. I am fure my dear Friend, you cou'J 
fcarcely reckon the power and will of God exfcrcifed in fuch a 
manner, and declar'd for fuch a porpofe anion:?; the perf. 
of the divine nature. 1 think, if God could confident his 
glory not pu'iilh fin, either in the perfon of the finner, or ure- 
ly, i_ mi^ht be queried, whether he can con iftent'v puhilh fi » 
at all ? Becaufe in that cafe, he would feem to affl;£t the (inner 
without a fuflicient reafon, and ill treat the works o« h s bands 
without a caufe. But to do any thing without a te&fo'fi 
be on no account for the honour of God. As I hinted al 

II Math. xi. 5. t Luke viii. 16. 

Let. 2. ( 46 ) 

God is holy, and becaufe lie is neccffarily fo, he mud hate fin ; his 
difpleafure againft it, wherever it is to f e found, muft he eter- 
nal, and irreconcilable ; for fin being contrary to the purity of 
his nature, he mull have an eternal averfion to it. If there be 
not then a way found out to fenaraic between the firmer and his 
fin, he mti ft lie for ever under the difpleafure ot a fin-revenging 
God ; a*d it is clear, that no difpleafure can be manifefted with- 
out loine marks of it upon the perfon of the offender, or, if a 
furety 1 e f'^und out upon him. God can as foon divert himleU 
of his purity as always forbear his difpleafure againft an impure 
tinner. There mud then be a reparation made to the honour 
of God's juftice and holinefs; by ourselves it could not be with- 
out condemnation ; neither by another, without fufficiency in 
the perfon. No Creature was capable of making this reparation, 
all the Creatures being of a finite nature, could never make a 
compensation for the difparagement of infinite holinefs. He 
mu ft undoubtedly entertain but defpicable and low thoughts of 
this excellent and glorious perfection, who imagines that a few 
tears, refolves and promifes, at an hour of death from a finful 
Creature, can be fuflicient to repair the wrongs, and reftore the 
rights of injur'd juftice and holinefs. It muff, therefore be fuch 
a compenfation as is commenfurate to the holinefs of the di- 
vine nature, and the divine law; but this could not he procur'd 
by any, but him that was pofTeft of Godhead. The perion ap- 
pointed, and defign'd by God, for fo great an undertaking was 
one, l< in the form of God"; One, " equal with God." The 
punifhment of our fin was, by the all-wife and gracious appoint- 
ment of Heaven, tranflatcd to this perfon, in order for the fe- 
curing the interefts of the holinefs, juftice, truth, and righte- 
oufnefs of God ; and his obedience and death, or in other words 
the righteoufnefs of that divine perfon, imputed to the finner for 
pardon and acceptance. In a word- Onefttnus, if God could have 
hated fin without punifhing it, his Son had never fe't the fmart 
of his wrath. His love to his Son, had been ftrong enough to 
have caufed him to forbear, had not the holinefs of his nature 
been ftronger, to move him to inflict a punifhment according to 
the demerit of fin. And this way we can account for all thofe 
fuffeiings, and grievous torments, which the S?n of God en- 
dur'd and bore in our ftead; and without viewing his death as 
propitiatory, and fat is factory, it would be difficult, yea, impofli- 
blc to account for it upon any other principle, in a confiftency 
with the goodnels, holinefs, and juftice of God. 

I might alfo prove the neceffity of the death of our great 
High Pricft, in order for fatisfa&ion, and that from the threat - 
ning denoune'd againft Adam, in cafe ot a breach ot the Cove- 

Let. 2. ( 47 ) 

nant of works. et In the day thou eateft thereof, thou (halt 
furely die.'* Now is it poflibfe that Jehovah, who is truth itfelf 
fhould lie, or alter his mind ? No. " He is in one mind, and 
who can turn him." As he is immutahle in his nature, fo in 
his purpofes and refolves. Is it potfible, that the ftrtttgth of If- 
rael fhould repent ? In a confiftency therefore, with the immu- 
table threatning of the Almighty, it ; .s abfolutely neceffary, 
that fin fhould be punihVd, either in the per'.onofthe finner, or 
the furety. If God could difpenfe with rhe punifhment, he 
mi^ht difpenfe with the law threatning it; bur this is imnofiible, 
the law being founded in the fan&ity and juilice of the divine 

If you replv, that God oftentimes in Scripture promifes to 
avert the punifhment rhreatn'd upon the footing o( repentance 
and amendment of life ; without any mention made of Chrift's 
facriflce, and in this cafe, would it not feem evident, that (in 
may be pardon'd, and the (inner releas'd trom condemnation, 
without death being inflicted, either on himfelf, or a furety in 
his (lead ? — In anfwer to this, I would jttft afk ycu, is it poifible 
for repentance unto life, to take place without faith ? I afk again, 
who, or what is the objeci of faith, I mean its mmediate object? 
You will probably reply, and in fo far you ar^ ri^ht, that faith's 
immediate object is Chnft; but oMerve it is Clirirt as erucify'd; 
hence calTd " faith in his blood." Hence it necefiarily follows, 
that to ward off the blow threatn'd by the holy and righteous 
law of God, we mult, have recourfe at lafr to the oblation which 
our great High Pneit made of himfelf to God, as a fweet fmel- 
lin? lavour. The blood of Jefus Chri^ then, is the meritorious 
caufe of our redemption from the law threatning, and coj 
quentiy, of our final ialvation; faith and repentance only t. h .e 
conditio fine . If the threatning of the law denouncing 

puniihment and death, could be dii pen fed with, it mud either be 
by the law itlelf, or by the Gofpel. It cannot be by rhe former, - 
for the law never relaxes in the lead degiee, nor diipenfes v 
the leahV failure ; it mu(l have perfect, periona', 2nd perpetua? 
obedience, or eife itt penal fen&ion muft inev... 
againif. the tranigretfbr. For the law proper: -,:*•, and 

ilriclly taken, knows nothing of repentant*, btc&u 
nothing of Jefus. Its cenftant deteimina^e language is, " C 
ed is every one that continueth not in all things written in 
book of the law todothem." || Again, the porrifhmem tftre itenr'd 
by the law, cannot be difpens*d with by the Go pel ; {,^r this 
would be to vacate the law, and render it of none effect, con- 
trary to the exprefs declaration of Paul, Rom. in. 3.1. Do wc 

11 Gal. iii. 10. 

Let. z. ( 48 ) 

make void the law through faith, God forbid ; yea, contrary to 
one of the grtat ends of Chrift's million into the world ; which 
Mas, " nor todefiioy the law, I ut to fulfil it." The manner 
ol a Tinner's jollification before God, and his final con fu inmate 
Lappmefs, is rev en I'd in, and by the Gofpei, namely, the obedi- 
ence, and death of the Lord of Glory ; and this is I y no means 
Contrary to the law threatning; becaufe the very, foundation of 
a finner's judication lies here, in the fulfilment of the law by 
Chrifl; its precepts in his holy life, its penal fan&ion in his 
:.*. curled death. What a vain and fruitlefs thing is it, my dear 
Omftmus, to talk of the efficiency of faith and repentance, to di- 
vert the law threatning, and lave the (inner from wrath, inde- 
pendent of Chrift's facnike. Faith and repentance if genuine, 
and evangelical, terminate dire&ly and immediately in Chr.ft, 
as crucify'd and flain. " They (hall look upon me, whom they 
have pierced, and fhall mourn." || 

Again to eftablifh the neceiiity of Chrifl's death as a propitia- 
tion for our fins, let us for a moment call our eye on the Jew-ifh 
Oeconomy, particularly the facrifical part of it. What rea on 
can be afiign'd, why an infinitely wife Gcd fhould have impos'd 
on that people, fuch a difperifation conhfling in fuch a number 


II I can fcarcely pafs over the definition which a certain levrn'd 
Doctor of Divinity is pleas'd to give us of repentance. " Repentance, 
" (fays he) is neither made up of confeffion of fin, and forrow for fin, 
M or wiihing and propofing to be better; nor of external penances, 
iC fruitlefs ceremonies, vain commutations, purchafing difpenfations, 
" and buying indulgences; not one, or all thefe put together, is re- 
•• pentance. Any man that hath eyes in his head may plainly perceive, 
<l that the repentance to which pardon is promifed in the Gofpei, is al- 
*' together as broad, and a* long, as to deny all ungodfmefs and world- 
** ly lufts, and to live fobcrly, righteoufly, and godly, in this prefent 

" world." With your leave Doctor, is it not lomewhat ftrange to 

hear of repentance without confeffion of, or forrow for fin ? (But this is 
a negative part of your definition.) ** Peter went out, and wept bit- 
terly." " They fhall look upon me whom they have pierced, and 
mourn." Is it not as ftrange to hear a Minifter ,of Jefus, defining re- 
pentance, and lorgetipg there everexifted fuch a'perlon as Jefus- Is he 
not *' exalted with the Fathers right hand, to give repentance to Ifra- 
el. ' Any man that hath eyes in his head, and can read the Scriptures, 
and take the lesft pains to confult thefe lively Oracles can fcarcely, 
(unlefs he willingly fhut his eyes) call upon finners to a Gofpei repen- 
tance, without dire'cling them immediately to Jefus. .A .ftrange defini- 
tion of repentance f To deny all ungodlinefs, &c. This will always be 
found iri a true penitent. But this tenor of converfation ,ts as far from, 
being repentance, as thcrfnift is from being the tree,' of the branches' 
the Voot. How difhonourable to thef-bleffed Jefus is this » 

Let. 2. ( 49 ) 

of facrifices, and other rites and ceremonies, if thefe had not 
had a refpe£t to a better difpenfation which was to take place in 
thefulnefs of time, by the appearance of the Son of God in hu- 
man nature, to put away fin by thefacrifice of himfelf; and put 
a final period to the Jewifh facrifices, which were* undoubtedly, 
(if they were fignincative of any thing) typical of ChrilVs bet- 
ter, and more perfect lacrifice. Without viewing the Jewifh 
GBeoVioriiy in this li^ht, it will appear perfect! y puerile and tri- 
fling, every way unbecoming an infinitely wife God to have im- 
posed it on that, or any other peop'e: But in a typical I ight it 
will appear big withthe greatell, and iroil important truths, and 
Significative of the tnoftv falatary bleiiingb : in this light it will 
•>:ar with a peculiar fplendor and glory- I make no dou u *, 
but for this, as well as other reafons the Apoftie calls it glorious. 
" For if the mi nitration of death was glorious.' 7 — i( And if the 
m in juration of condemnation was glorious." Why would not 
Gxl Ipeak. with his chofen Ifrael, until there was a facrifice of- 
fered, and the blood fprinkled on the people ? But to fignif/ to 
them, and to us, that tinners can have no interc^urfe with a 
Gid of fpotlefs purity and perfection, can poilHy be ad- 
mitted into his bleiTed pretence, but by virtue of the propitiatory 
facrifice ot Jefus; a facrifice of refl, with which Gc.d is well 
pleafed, and through its infinite value, he g-aci^ufiy conde- 
scends to dwell with men upon earth. Why did Moles -ad the 
part of a Mediator between God and the Jfraelitifh congregati- 
on ? But to teach them, and us, the abfoJute necefiaty or a Me- 
diator between God and men : A Mediator, who M hath made 
peace by the blood of his crolV ? Why was the blood or Bui's 
and Goats poured out at God's altar? Was it to confirm any 
doctrine, or let before the people any example, after which they 
were to copy ? Or was it to enfure their eternal interefts, and 
render God really propitious ? Or in a word, was it to confirm 
any covenant ? No. None of all thefe things were the imme- 
diate refult of the Jewiih facrifices. What then ? Their whole 
defign confuted in this, typically to reniove the fin ot that peo- 
ple : Typically I fay, for farther they could not reach. Trie 
blood of Bulls and Goats couid not purge the confeience from 
moral pollution. Thefe facrifices then neceflarily preiu-ppofe 
fome other facrifice of a higher, and more perfect nature, r-al!y 
to accomplifti that which they only cculd adumbrate and prehg- 
nify. Abftra&ing from this view of thefe legal facrifices, \\ will 
be difficult I apprehend, to allien a reafon for their infjijution. 
And if they were typical, it of confequence follows, jfjjgt they 
mull have had fome relation to, and connexion with an anti- 
type; if they were only (hadows, (at the Apoftlc jrVwl plainly 

£ afltrt.) 

Let. 2. ( 50 ) 

afTerrs) thefe fhadows mutt have a relation to a fubflance. Now 
what this antitype and fubftance is, the fame infpired writer in the 
moll unequivocal language informs us, in his epiftle to the He- 
brews, viz. Chriji. || In the courfe of our correfpondence I may- 
have an occafion to fpeak more particularly on this fubje&. 


II Maimonides the Jew gives a ftrange reafon for the inftitution of 
the ceremonial law. viz. for the extirpation of Idolatry: For fays he, 
when God Tent Mofes to redeem his people out of Egypt, it was the 
uftial cuftom of the world, and the worflv.p in which all nations was 
bred up to build temples in honour of the fun, moon and ftars, and 
to offer divers kinds of Animals to them, and to have Priefts appointed 
for that end ; therefore, God knowing that it is beyond the ftrength of 
human nature inftantly to quit that which it hath been long accuftomed 
to, and fo powerfully inclined to, would not command that all that 
wor/hip mould be abolimed, and he mould be worshipped only in fpi- 
rit; hut that he mould be the object of that outward worihip; that 
temples and altars mould be built to him alone; that facrifices ihould 

be olered to him only, and Priefts confecrated only to his iervice. 

S Turin's differt. 

Ccdrinus, according to the aforemention'd Author entertain'd almoft 
the fame opinion, viz. that the feftivals, feparations, purgations, ob- 
hfionjj and decimations which took place among the Jews, were en- 
join'd on them by God, that being employ'd in doing thefe things to the 
true God, they might abftain from Idolatry. Dr. Spencer enter- 
tain'd almoft the fame opinion, viz. that the moft of the Jewifh rites 
of the old law, were in imitation of thofe of the Gentiles, particu- 
larly of the Egyptians; that God in order to divert the Children 
of Ifrael from the worfhip they paid to falfe Deities, confecrated the 
greateft part of the ceremonies perform 'd by thefe Idolators, and had 
form'd out of them the body of the ceremonial law ; that he had in- 
deed made fome alterations therein as barriers againft Idolatry, and 
he had accommodated his worfhip to the genius and occafions of 
his ancient people. -Is it not ftrange that fuch chimerical fan- 
cies mould enter into the mind of any body, and particularly a pro- 
feflVd Chriftian. Who in the moft tranfient manner can read the eighth, 
ninth, and tenth Chapters of Paul's Epiftle to the Hebrews, and fub- 
T'f -:i',c to the aforemention'd opinions? If allegories, (as Spencer ob- 
ferves}- are the refuge of ignorance and fallies of the fancy ; there never 
aopear'd a more ignorant man in this world than the Apoftle Paul. 
Strange: -Jndeed ! To introduce a fyftem of religion to extirpate Idola- 
try by :fan,clifying Heatheniih rites. Was not this the way certainly 
to perpetuate, rather than extirpate it? Could the Ifraelites have for- 
borEte*}ooking .with veneration on the religion of the Egyptians, if God 
himfe'f had^co fecrated their" ceremonies, and made ufe of them for 
models? Would ihey. not have lien under a perpetual temptation of 
'.\\g the'copy/ancTtaking the : original ? . ' 

Let. 2. ( 51 ) 

Oneftmus, I had fcarcely finiiVd the laft fentence when an in- 
timate acquaintance, (Superbus Parifaus) calfd, defiling to fee 
me. This mm had °;ot a liberal education, was of an unHe- 
mifliM character, had ohraifl'd a orood report, by a moll drift, 
and examplary conv;r ation : His houfe was an afylum for the 
ftranger, his ear was nevei fliut ro the cry of the needv, a pro- 
tector of the fatherlefs and widow, an upright magiftrate, an 
affectionate hufhand, and an indulgent parent; in a word, he 
was a perfect model of the character given by our Lord of a cer- 
tain man in Luke xviii. v. 1 r, 12 He might with thegreateft pro- 
priety fay with that man, " God I thank thee, I am not as other 
men are,*' &c. This Gentleman and your Friend being on the 
mod intimate footing, he very politely enquir'd what 1 had been 
enea^'d in, that prevented me from paying him a vifit that 
morning as my cuftom was. 1 informed him that I was en- 
gaged in writing to you on a certain fubie&, about which you 
wanted further information. He requeued, if it might con- 
fift with good manners to know the fubject. I to'd him without 
the ieaft hefitation, that I would gratify him in hisrequeft; ac- 
cordingly read over to him what I had written on the neceffity of 
Chrift's death and fufferings to take away fin ; and that without 
faith in his blo^d there was no remiflion. I had fcarcely done when 
I obferv'd his countenance to alter; he feem'd greatly agitated ; 
his outward demeanor betray'd the inward confufion of his mind. 
After paufin^ a few momente, he adreiTed me in the following 
terms. *' My dear Philemon if what you have juft now advanced 
be true, I have my religion yet to feek. My fyftem and 
yours, are as oppofite as light is to darknefs. I never dream'd 
that Chrift's death was fo necefTary for purchafing pardon and 
peace with God, as you infinuate. I never imagin'd that there is 
fuch a necefTary and indiflblvable connexion ellablifiVd between 
God's mercy, and Chrift's blood. 1 never once thought that 
there rcign'd in the divine Being, fuch an antipathy asrainft 
fin ; nor that punitive juftice was fuch an effential perfection 

of God's nature. In a word, my creed was this : " To do 

juftly, and love mercy," was all that God required to found 
my title to eternal happinefs. I ftill indeed had a veryhigh 
" veneration for Chrift, as one of the moil noble, and glorious 
beings ever the Almighty form'd. I fti'l rever'd that all-wife 
difpenfation of providence, in his miflicn into this world; 
but I never view'd his holy life in any other light, than to 
prefcri^e to the world a more perfect pattern, for a more holy 
'* converfatum than had ever been prefented to mankind, prior 
" lb this gracious aera. And as for his ignominious exit on the 
*' crofs, I viewed it only as intended to confirm the doctrines 

E 2 which 

Let. 2. ( 52 ) 

" which he publicly taught and inculcated upon the world, in 
ft the diicharge of his prophetic office; and to teach mankind 
'* patience and refignation to the will of Heaven, undrr the rri- 
als and afflictions which providence Ri'lght meafure out to 
" them here. I never imagin'd that his dea^h was, or mould 
f be confider'd as a propitiatory vicarious facrifce; nor, as an 
" atoning High Prieft to this day, did I ever helieve in Jefus. 
'' I believ'd that all the benefit mankind receiv'd hy virtue of 
" ChnnVs death originated purely from that fuperemincnt afFec- 
(€ tion the Eternal Father had for him, and not from any real 

ft intrinfic virtue that was in his death and oblation 1 need 

'* not hide from you Philemon the fecrets of my heart, nor my 
(( practice and converfation. My parents were of good re- 
'* pute in the world; they entertain'd a partial fondnefs for me. 
*' I was educated under their own eye, and by one, who I be- 
" lieve was as ignorant of, and as little believ'd in your fyftem 
" as I did myfelf. I mud acknowledge, that I never heard of 
'.' faith in Chrift's atonement and fatisfa&ion mention'd as ab- 
" folutely neceffary to falvation. When religion came to be 
" mention'd at all, and the terms cf a miner's acceptance 
" fpoken of; God's mercy, and man's endeavours, were ftill 
*■* introdue'd, as the only, and alone bafis upon which we mould 
" build for eternity. And indeed upon cool reflection, I have 
•' oftentimes thought, that if the reft of the world were as defti- 
t( tute of good works as our Family, they would have but little 
*' ground to boaft of, and Iefs to build on them with a view to a 
** blefTed immortality. No one could indeed ever blame my 
" Father for being guilty of a mean dimonefl: action. I never 
" knew him to take the advantage either of the ignorance, or 
•' weaknefs of thofe with whom he dealt. But alas ! I fpeak it 
M with grief it was his habitual prat^ice " to take the name of 
" the Lord our God in vain:" And on the Lord's day, it was 
** almoft his conftant employ to regulate his Books, to caft up 
V his accounts; or to forjri plans for execution that week. And 
f? for the reft of our Family, who had no fecular Fufinefs on 
" hand; that day was generally fpent in parties of pleafure, i 
" may lafely add, in vain and idle difiipation, inftcad of wor- 
" (hipping God in the beauty of holinefs. Scarcely, or ever was 
" GoJ wcrihipped in a family capacity, and I dread, our clofeu 
" feldom i( und us at our fecret devotions. In a word, bonejly 
" and civility were the all of our religion. 

" I remember Philemon^ that when my Mother was on her 
" death bed, and within a few moments of eternity, (landing 
" bv her bed fide, heard her exprefs herfelf in the'e terms; I 
U thank God, to my knowledge, I never injur'd one of my fel- 

" low 



Let. 2. ( 53 ) 

V low Creatures. This was the ground of her gloriation when 
** leaving the llage of time, and repairing to an unknown re- 
gion. My t^ac^er pro.nounc'd her a candidate for the new 
Jerufalern ; this was ecrioed through the whole company. — 
i doubt PbiLfnon, if you had been prefent, and preach ; d up the 
nee flit y of faith in the atoning blood and merit of Jefus in 
** order for fa I vat ion ; an J at trie fame time inform'd her, that 
the works o\ the law, no fkfh can he juftify'd;" reminded 
lf her of the fpptlefs hplinefs, and iVicr. juftice of the Deity ; ,that 
" he cannot view the lead fin wirhout the greateft abhorrence, 
" nor pardon the leaft t r anfp:reflion cf any of his finning Crea- 
" tures, without faith in Ch rift's Sacrifice and death.- • I fay 
** if you had b en petentand obf- rv'd ths method, you might 
" have derang d her whole frame; and I lmpect it would not 
" have h~en well taken. 

I acknowledge Philemon, that I am no fceptic; I am not 
Without fome rixt principles in religion; thefe 1 have already 
p di'cover'd, as the fruit of my education, for I never fearch'd 
" the fcrptures myfelfto fee whether my belief was confor.ant 
" to the'e lively oracles, or not : Neither am I io dogmatic, but 
f\ upon conv.&ion, I could sacrifice thefe my principles.- 
" The difference between your J v item and mine is io wide, 
*' that it truly alarms me. A point upon which our falvation 
depends, demands undou^te ily the greateft attention, and 
moil ferious inveftigaticn. How I may augment my 
worldly jubilance, diipofe of my Family, difchargc the truft 
repofited in me as a Magi ft rate, are but trivial matters to this, 

ft, what muft I d~to be raved." Here he hurt! into tear; 

After he had recover'd himfelf a little, I addreft him in the fol- 
lowing terras; My dear Suptrtvi, 1 am forry to think that your 
fyftem :neiaily em-rae'd, and fo firmly believ'd. It is 

ftrange v o t nink, that J<fuf the Saviour is fo much overlook'd, 
an;i hisfa/vatfo* io much de pis'd; and any work of the Creature 
uted in the room of his moil: penecr. juftrfying righfeouf- 
■ ere falvatjon in any other name, or in any other 
e in the name, and by the iatisra&orvr death of the 
thall one fay in the Lord have I righte- 
s. || Y^u hinted at the manner of ytkif education; and 
tr>jiv it f her with the example fet before you) as 

ted in its tendency, to wear off, and 
effice thofe impreffions of the d vine holinefs and juftice, which 
ought to h e deeply rivetted on the conscience of every rational 
and accountable Creature. Nothing you will find better calcu- 
lated to introduce into the mind, unbecoming and unworthy 

B Ifa. xliv. 24 

Let. 2. ( 54 ) 

ideas of God's purity, juftice and. ftiicfc holincfs, than a profa- 
nation of the Lord's day. Alas ! how many are ruin'd through 
the prejudice of cuftom, example, and a wrong education. Could 
you Superbus, at this prefent moment approach God's dreadful tri- 
bunal and fay, that there was nothing hut innocence in your 
parties of pleafurc on God's holy day r This was a day inflituted 
by our fovereign Lord for his fervice, not for our plcajure. If 
God be true, you were putting the niched affront on the hoiy one 
of Ifrael. How can you, (or any one elfc that has the effronte- 
ry to fpend that facred day either in idle diflipation, or any fe- 
cular bufinefs whatever) reconcile your conduct with what God 
himfelf fo plainly, and fo feverely prohibits ? Ifa. Iviii. 13. ■ 
Not doing thine own ways, nor rinding thine own pleafure, nor 

(peaking th'me own words, on mine holy day. 1 may further 

add, that wrong notions, I mean fuch as are not fcriptural, of 
the holinefs of the divine nature, of the intrinfic evil of fin, of 
the mercy, love, and grace of God, tend greatly in the iflue to 
depreciate the Redeemer's perfon, obedience, and fufferings. To 
frame to ourfelves a Deity that doth not necefTarily hate fin, 
and confequently muft punifh it, is to frame an Idol in our ima- 
gination : A Being which no where exifts fave in our own brain. 
A Gcd all mercy is a mere ideal God. A God all mercy is a 
God unjuft. God never exercifes his mercy, but in a confiften- 
cy with his juftice; and if we believe the fcriptures, juftice can 
never be reconcil'd to a (inner, but in Jefus and his fatisfa&ory 

You took notice of the lad words of your dying Mother. I 
tell you Superbus, and you may credit it as an infallible truth, 
" that there is no genuine Chriftian, but what is a genuine mo- 
ralift." And it is as certain, that morality never appears in fuch 
an amiable light, nor (hows its heaven-born luftre in fuch a glo- 
rious, and an attra6Ymg point of view, as in the " juftify'd in 
Chrift Jems." " Jelus died to fan&ify, as well as to juftify." 
His blood is the meritorious procuring caufe of theie two great 
and invaluable benefits. But there is a very wide difference be- 
tween morality, and true Chriftianity. A true Chriftian mora- 
jift makes it his habitual ftudy, " to exercife himfclffo, as to 
have a conference void of offence towards God, and man," 
" T© live foberly, righteoufly, and godly in this prefent world:" 
But he glories only in the crofs of Chrift; fiom this his falvation 
flows, by this God only can be reconcil'd; and in a confiftency 
-with the perft&ions of his nature accept the (inner. " I 
know in whom 1 have believed," were among the lad words of a 
mod eminent new Teftament S«;int, and an infpired Apoftle. 
" Lord Jefus receive my fpirk," were the lad words of the proto- 


Let. 2. ( 55 ) 

Martyr Stephen. What brought Job with confidence to the 
king of terrors was this; " I know that my Redeemer liveth." 
Thefe holy men in palling out of time into eternity, drew a vail 
over their good works, as not worthy to be mentioned in that 
trving hour; as they were not the bafis upon which they had 
built for a bleiTed immortality. Thefe holv men of God menti- 
on bim only, " who loved them, and wafhed them from their 
ilns in his own blood," and who could only $* prefent them 
faultlefs, and blamelefs, before the throne of his glory with ex- 
ceeding joy. " || Scarce was the laft fentence concluded, when 
a meiTenger arrived for my friend Sutertus. Upon his depar- 
ture, he promifed to return the next day ; adding at the fame 
time, that he would feriouflv confider what had patted in this in- 
terview. I keep mv letter unleai'd Onefimus, in order to fend 
you an account of what may take place at our next meeting. 

Superbu frztuvn'd according to promife, and at the time appoint- 
ed; but indeed far from being in that temper and difpofit'ion, 
which I expe&ed, or wifh'd to meet with my Friend. He 
feem'd to be greatly chagrin'd, a cloud hung on his brow; the 
accent of his voice indicated choler in his heart. Brooding oh 
what pa (Fed, he imagin'd he was taken at a disadvantage. Gird- 
ing on his harnefs he thus addrefs d me. " My dear Philemon, 

" F honour and efteem you; but I am determin'd never to give 
*' an implicit faith to von, nor anv man living. I mu(t exer- 
" c'v't my own undemanding, and fatisfy my own mind; your 
itfe dixit (hail never D-afs with me inftead of, *' thus Faith the 


I- incWditle, and a imtrer of the deepeft regret to find 

in a Chriitian land what ignorance prevails with many, who profefs the 
rel'gion of Jefus. Men's Fentiments ire never better known than in 
Yt p.-riod, when eternity prefents itfe If broad in their view. 
Then iris, tha* bypocrifv hides its head. Nothing but und»Fguis*d lin- 
centy, may at Fuch a criiis be expected. But alas! how often is it 
"Foufl porality is all mat many t mil to ; or the abfolure 

fere nee to the death of Chritl ; or becaufe 

e been Forely tried in the furnace of affliction j as if any, or ail 

- : adequate to compenlate for the injuries 

God. Others expedtihg Falvation becaufe they 

uch, and fuch a perfwafion ; as was the cafe with a certain man 

who expected God wuuld fave him, " becaufe he died a Prejbjteriari ! 

O J how careful mould fuch be, who have (under God) committed to 

their care the precious Fouls of men. How ought they to be intrant 

4,1 . in FeaFon, and out" ox fcftfon, inftrucYing, exhorting, with all long fuf- 

feringand patience. ". 

h it rot itrin-ge, for Fuch a? have th<; Fcriprures, to be Fo igno- 
the terms of Falvation? " My people are dettroyed For lack of know- 

Let. 2. ( 56 ) 

V Lord." Yeflerday you harangn'd mc on the neceflity of 
'* the denth and oblation of Je<us You plainly, and pnfitivtlv 
" aiTortcd that there was no pofTibility of oardon or hope of ao- 
" ct v-tance, bwt by faith in his blood. I have been confiderin ; - 
" on what you advatic'd, and by comparing it with the Scnp- 
" turc of truth, I find 'hat your oninion is far from being te- 
" naMe, and your doctrine far from being Scriptura'." He 
fpoke thefe words With fuch vehemence and ardor, that you 
would have imagined, he would have breath'd out his foul along 
witu hi6 words. || I was aflomfhM to find the Lamb turn'd into 
the Lion. However, I was determin'd at all hazards to keep 
my temper, and if poflible to briirg him back to his. I afked 
hi i, what were his objections to what I advane'd yeflerday? 
Jf I could not anfwer them, I would cheerfully yield him the 
Ja,urels. That I never fhould fhow, nor ever be guilty of fo 
much mean pride, as triumph when conquer'd. — Being a little 
more compos'd, he adreffed me in the following; terms.—" 1 do 
*' not think Philemon, that there mould be fo much lire's laid on 
f( ChrifVs death and fatisfaction for falvation as you would infi- 
" nu.ite, when I confider the defcriptions given of God in Scrip- 
" ture ; the terms of pardon there defin'd and laid down, and 
" thefe without the fmallefl hint cf the neceflity of ChrifVs death 
" and lacrifice. If you bear with me a little, I fliall, in an 
" agreeablenefs to Scripture, and in conformity to what I have 
" been taught from my infancy, fhow, that independent of 
" ChrifVs atonement there is pardon and falvation for finners, 
" upon the performance of certain conditions within the fphere 
" of human nature to accompli fh. Permit me to refer you to 
" the authority of an infpir'd penman ; an authority, whofe au- 
" thenticity you cannot difpute : I mean the Prophet Micah- . 
" chap. vi. v. 6, 7, 8. He hath mowed thee O man what is 
" goid, and what doth the Lord require ot thee, but to do jufl- 
" ly, and love mercy, and walk -.humbly with thy God.-— — 
" Now Philemon is there here any the leafl hint of the neceifity 
" of Chrifl's death, or faith in his blood for the Temifuon-of 
"-fins ? Are not the preceding words the language of a finncr 
" in qudl ojfalvariori ? Not knowing what to do to placate an 
" offended God, and reflore tranquillity to his anxious mind. 



II How highly requifite is it for fueh as engage in the controverfial 
line, to poffeis their fouls in patience. If eomroverfies in religion were 
inana^'d with more candour and humility, with an unfergn'd defire to 
promote God's glory, and the interefb ofiro»r»orral fouls ; they would 
be far more acceptable, than they generally are, and tend to more edi- 
fication, than they generally da. ' The religion of jefas teaches to lay 
aGde all bitterneis, &c. 

Let. 2. ( 57 ) 

" Sha'l thoufand? of Ram?, ten thou fan d rivers- of oil,- IJiill the 
st fru't of his hody aone ror the (in or' h : s foul ? Doth rv>t jeho- 
(t v.h pfint oat the very means, dirtcl to the immediate reme- 
f* dv r He hath lho.ved thee O man what is good ; &c. 1 e. 
" You need n-^t trouble vourfelf at this rate : There is nothing 
* e lo evil in fin a- vou fuppofe, nor !o awrul in God's thrcat- 
(t ning. Jehovah indeed hath- fold, that the foul that finnefh 
" (hall die; yet here you fee an cafy way to efcape the 
" threatning: Do juftly, love mercy, i. e. do not g roily in- 
*' jure, nor cheat your Neighbour; a? ftain from robbery and 
** oppreinon • love mercy; he ready to do ill the good office* in 
" vourpswer; walk humbly with your God, and this' is what 
<e the Lord requires o\ you. N"w PUUmon, is not the man 
f* that fulfils the condition^ here prefcrirfd, the man that God 
t( w l ; pardon and receive into favour, without any reference 
*• had tothe atonement of Chrift, which you fo ftrenuoufly infill 
** upon-ae -cflontially neceiiary to procure thefe invaluable blef- 
u lings. I dread you will find yourfelf at a lofs to fupport your 
e( hypothecs, rnd retain thefpirit of ths text. 

Sr'-.^us, I have heard with aftonifhment, and beheld with re- 
gret, this text introduced by men as the ground of their hopes for 
fai ation, who*e mouths were full of blafphemy; and whole con- 
verfation was one continued fcene of all manner of uncleannefs. 
To love mercy, to do juftly, was in their blinded, prejudie'd 
mind, a 1 umcient atonement for injuries immediately commit- 
ted againft the God of Heaven. According to your explication 
of this text ff to do ju-ftly, love meicy, &c. is the all of religi- 
on ;" 1 acknowledge indeed that they are very efTential parts of 
it; for *i w -thorn holineii no man fhail fee the Lord:" But I 
aflert, how miserable wculd you be, if God at the great day 
mould jud^e you by this text to which you now appeal. How 
aftonifhing is the pride of "man,- who will dare to urge a plea be- 
fore God which muft iffje in his own condemnation. I alk you 
S'tperhir, do vou indeed deal juftly ? Do you in all your dealin :s 
with your fellow Creatures' {tricUy obferve that goiden rule laid 
down by our Lord, .*' to do to others as yea would have them to 
do to you." Did you never in vour commercial bufi nets take 
the reaft advantage of the ignorance, or necemty of your Neigh- 
bour ? Did you never fpeak, or report any thing to his hurt or 
prejudice, without fufheient .warrant, and a relevant caufe r 
Do not you feel how tender of your own interefts and character 
you are ? Have you been equally fo with regard rothe character, 
and interefts of others, of ail others, with whom you have had 
any connexion, without being influenced in any inftance, or 
degree, by partiality or mercenary views ? If you cannot appeal 


Let. 2. ( 58 ) 

to the fearcher of hearts, that you have walk'd in this integrity, 
your pretence that you have done juftly is vile hypocrify ; and 
you may tremble to think, how eafily you may be condemned 
out of your own mouth. But granting, the penetrating eye of 
God faw no blcmifh in your character with regard to the perfor- 
mance of thefe relative duties you owe to your fellow Creatures: 
I afk you, have you done juftly in relation to thofe duties you 
immediately owe your Maker? Doth he not require of you, of 
every one, to fear his great and dreadful name ? And did you 
never take it in vain ? Doth he not ftri&ly enjoin the fandtifica- 
tion of his holy fabbath ? Did you never pollute it ? Have you 
made his word the rule of your duty, is it your dire&ory in all 
cafes, and in every circumftance of your life ? Have you in eve- 
ry thing by prayer andfupplication, made your requefts to God ? 
Have you habitually intended the glorification of his name 
in all your actions ? Has Paul's exhortation been the rule 
of your conduct, from which you have at no time, and upon no 
occafion fwerv'd either in thought, word, or deed, viz. " What- 
foever ye do, whether ye eat or drink, do all to the glory of 

Do you love mercy ? Is it a reigning prevalent principle with 
you to overcome evil with good ? If your Brother, or Neighbour 
offend you, not feven, but feventy times feven in a day ; do 
you find it a pleafure to repeat your forgivenefs ? Do you blefs 
them that curfe you, and pray for them that defpitefully ufe you, 
and lpeak all manner of evil againft you ? If not, what have you 
to do with mercy; either to pretend that you love it, or to in- 
dulge the lead hope of obtaining it at God's hand, if you know 
of no better way of feeking it, than by your own works ? But 
granting Superbus, that you were lefs culpable in thefe particu- 
lars than you, or any elfe is, what ihall we fay about walking 
humbly with God? How impcffible is this, while we trull in our 
own nghteoufnefs, and our hearts rife againft the grace of God 
revealed in the gofpel. Are we not impatient oftentimes under 
his afflicting. hand; and ungrateful for innumerable mercies he 
pe&ows, I . w( uld -recommend to your ferious confederation the 
character which a certain Phariiee gave of himfeif, Luke xviii. 
and you will perhaps find very few that can juftly adopt the fame 
language, and lay claim to the fame line of conduct; and yet 
this man was far from being juftify'd in God's fight. There was 
a curled root of fpiritual pride at the bottom of all his morality, 
and feemingly devout exercifes. Such a principle is to be found 
in the heart of every one, who is not by the grace of God deter- 
min'd to betake . himfeif to the Lord Jefus Chrift for falvation, 
and learn of him who is meek and lowly. I may'add, that if 


Let. 2. ( 59 ) 

to do iu'l'v. love mercy, Szc. He the all of religion, tlte--; Chrift 

is dea: 4 in vain. What doth t^e Lord require of h 

and rtfdefemed people? Is it to make their own ? He 
wou' d as foon require them to make a new Heaven, and r 

hat doth the Lord require of them, as i i ^:n i .-> 
or him, and his holy law? What d^th the Lord 
as evidences of the hi ~h ell veneration for him, 
fctoo (oved them, and grave himfelf for them r But 'o do JtHHy, 
id their Neighbour their due ; to love God with 
foul, mind and ftrength ; and to love their Neigh- 
bour as themielves r Becaufe thev are fellow tinners, and capa- 
ble of being called to a pirtic'pation with them in the honoura- 
ble relation, and e;iorious privileges of the Sons of God. I tell 
you Superbusy tha* upon this principle of faith in ChrifPs atone- 
ment, the practice of virtue is attainable, and no otherwife. 
There ar- many honourable and blamelefs characters in the 
woild, with regard to the outward concerns of life, and in the 
judgment of fttorr-flgfhwd mortals; but there is no perfon upon 
earth who doth, or can love, and practice juftice in its full ex- 
tent, buthe-whohas received the t pint of Chrift, and habitually 
lives on him . r^r wifdom and ftrength. The juftify'd 

in Chrift Jetus are call'd to love mercy ; but who can love it, 
but thofe who have obtain'd it ? When we can fay, that God 
for the fake of his dear Son, hath forgiven our immenfe debts, 
we will have no defirc to take our Brother'by the throat for a few 
pence. This feeling ienfe of the divine goodnefs, and the con- 
tinual need we find of divine mercv from day to day, will foften 
our hearts, and gradually difarm, and weaken every proud 
thought, that would plead for the exercife of ansrer and refent- 
ment againil: thofe who have offended us. ** We will then be 
fwift to hear, fhw to fpeak, flow to wrath." We will then 
pu* on as the elefir. of God, bowels of mercy, Ions: fufFerin^ 
iwd comnaftio.i, forgiving one another, if we have ought againft 
any." What* doth he require of his faved perple ? But to walk 
ly with God ; " but how can two walk together except they 
be agreed." Who is the peace-maker ? Jefjs. How hath he made 
peace ? How are God and (inners reconciFd ? M By the blood of 
his crofs." 

If you lofe not your patience at my long anfwer to your ob- 
jection, permit me, to tender you this caution. Beware of dis- 
jointing the word of God: The holy Scriptures are one compleat 
whole. God hath fo join'd them together, that it will net be 
fafe for you, or any one, to put them afunder. What dreadful 
havock would we make of God's word, if we were to explain 
one text without taking into our eonfideration at the fame time 

Let. 2. ( 60 ) 

its connexion with another, e. g. The text yu juft new 
mention'd to plead your caufe, and fupport your opinion, and 
others of a fimilar nature, make mention of thofe duties which 
God requires of all his pmple, to teftify their love for him, and 
to inanifcil to the world, and £heir own confeiences, that God 
hath " called them out of darknefs into his marvellous light;" 
to ihow forth the praifes of him who hath enroH'd them among 
the number, and made them fharers of the privileges of the Sons 
of God. Not as you fuggeft, to procure our falvation in the 
practice of thefe moral virtues: For this would tend in the ifTue 
to make one part of Scripture clafh with another. Is not a Tin- 
ner's juftification before God immediately* and directly reterr'd 
to faith in the blood of Jefus ? Acts xiii 38, 39. Be it known 
unto you men and brethren, that through this nun is preached 
unto you the forgivene's of fins, ., ■ 'And by h'un all that be- 
lieve are juftify'd ■ «■ ..Is not the tinner's final falvation alfo im- 
mediately referr'd to Jefus ? " There is no other name given 
under Heaven, and among men, whereby we can be faved, but 
the name of Jefus : Neither is there falvation in any other" 
name, or thing, fave in the name, and by the compleat and per- 
fect Satisfaction of Jefus. He is " the Lamb of God, which 
taketh away the fin of the world." View thefe, with many 
other Scriptures of a like nature, with that which )Ou lately 
introdue'd, and commented upon, and they will jeem abfolute 
contradictions: View them as partsof the whole undivided word 
of God, and they perfectly harmonize. Faith in Chnft's facri- 
fice and death, puts us in a capacity for performing every duty, 
either refpecti ng God, our Neighbour, or ourleives, which the 
Scriptures enjoin. And without this faith as the radical princi- 
ple of all goipel holinefs, you may cred t me Svperbus, you wiM 
never do juftly, love mercy, nor walk humbly as you ought, 
nor as God requires. Never, never then, cajole yourfeif in this 
imaginary idea, that in the performance of the afore- -peaty \i 
dunes, (and thefe you hinted, lie within the fphere of human 
nature) the all of our Salvation confilts.. 

Superhus here paus'd a littLe ; then return'd this reply. If 
there were no other Scripture phrafes to militate againit jour hy- 
pothecs, I certainly would be more than he. If a convert. 1 murt 
acknowledge, that a man may go- a great length in the practice 
of morality, without being a genuine Chnftian. The account 
our Lord gives of the Pharifee that went up to the temple to pray, 
is certainly an undeniable proof oi thi.^. \ The account which 
Paul gives of himfelf in his unconverted ftate ftill lets the matter 
in a clearer point of view. Upon his moral attainments he 

t'LuJce xvi. 

Let. 2. ( 6\ ) 

trufted : Thefe he pronounced were to be everlafting gain to 
him But here I apprehend, (and according to your fyftem) 
lav his great fault; he had no reeourfe to the blood of Jefus tor 
pardon ; no dependance on his righteoufnefs for juftification. 
But vhm it plea'ed God to reveal his Son in him, he confefTcs 
the Tandy found ition. upon which he built; and counts all thofe 
things lo's which he formerly reckoned gain. Hear his own 
word- : But what things were gain to me, thofe 1 counted lofs 
for Chrift; yea doubtlefs, and I count all things but lofs for the 
excellencv of the knowledge of- Jeius Chrift my Lord: For 
whom I have fuffered the lofs of all things, and do count them 
but dung that I may win Chrift, and be found in him, not 
havingmine own righteoufnefs which is of the law, but that 
• which is through the faith of Chrift, the righteoufnefs which is 
of God by faith. || I think Philemon, that if Paul could not be 
faved upon the footing of his own moral righteoufnefs; although 
in this refpeft the head and (houlders above a great part of the 
world : How (hall they appear before an infinitely juft, and holy 
God, trufting in themfe'ves, and yet come not the length either 
of the proud Pharifee, or the great Apoftle of the Gentiles, in his 
unconverted ftate ? But I have other objections againft your 

lyftem. How can you reconcile your notions with thefe Scrip- 
tures ? Jerem. iii. 12, 13, 14, 22. Ezek. xxxiii. 14, 15, 
19. Taking up the Bible which was lying before him on the 
table, he read thefe paifages with a certain air or triumph. 
Now I fee Philemon, from what I have juft now read, that life 
and falvation is here promifed, and fecur'd to penitent finneFs, 
upon the footing of their repentance, and God's mercy, wilbout 
taking all that round that you take. Faith according to you is 
necefTarily connected with repentance; and both with the atoae- 
ment and Tatiifa&ion ot Chrift. Is there the remoteft hint of 
thefe, in the pafTages I have juft now quoted ? And thefe Scnp- 
turcs are true : It muft or confequence be true aifo, that to turn , 
trom fia, to the practice of moral virtue, is ail that is requfite to 
ascertain our tit'e to happine s, and fecure r^>m the wrath to come. 
Superbus, do you remember the caution I late'y gave you in the 
explanation of Scripture ? Never to take detach'd pieces of it, 
and force your explication on thefe, without a reference to other 
parts where the fuhjeft is more fully contain'd, and the doctrine 
taught, more clearly explain'd. In the Scriptures which yon 
have juft now read, repentance is decrib'd under the notkn of 
turning from (in, which necefTarily implies, (where it is a 
genuine gofpel repentance) a turning unto God, in the habitual 
practice of all new obedience. But in order to obtain a more 


U Philip, iii. 7, 8, 9. 

Let. 2. ( 62 ) 

full and ample account of this grace, you may read Zcch. ru. 
10. And I will pour upon the hod'* of Dav J. and rhe in 
tantsof Jerufalem, the Ipint or~:race and fuppli cation*, ati 
(hall look upon him whom they have_pjercad, and they fliall 
mourn, &c. From this text it is evid' ntj that •'. and evan- 

ai repentance is necdfirily connected with Chrifl 
ibis promife has a reference to him is clear from John x x 3-7 ) 
and with Chrifl: as crncify'd. Here we may a!:o brn tl • 
cnt caufe of repentance, the Holy Ghoft. ** 1 will pour 
fhe houfe of David, &c. the fpirit of orace and iu|>p-:a"ion." 
Sometimes indeed we find repentance aicrib'd to (*od the Fafher, 
as its immediate author: " Then hath God alio to the 
granted repentance unto life;" fometimes to Jefus, " him the 
Father hah exalted with his own right hand, a Prince 
Saviour, to give repentance to Ifrael," &c. This informs us, 
that all the external works of the one blefled Deity, are mi. 
cd; although oeconimically confider'd it is the peculiar woik of 
the Holy Ghoft. It is owing to his divine agency that fmners 
are convinced of fin, fee its evil, and dread its con'eqiences; 
and are determin'd to fly to the mercy of God, as vt 
nourably to the very chief of Tinners, through the atonement and 
fatisfa&ion of Jefus. Obferve here again Superbv.s, from whence 
doth the repentance which is neceflfarily connected with eternal 
life flow? From faith. " they fhall look upon him ;" which in 
New Teftament language, is the fame with believing on him. 
When you would explain the nature of repentance toothers, or 
entertain a fcriptural idea of it yourfelf, you muft carefully ad- 
vert to this, that the principal author of this grace is the Holy 
Ghoft; its principal objeft Chrift, and him crucify'd ; and fo re- 
pentance cannot be the meritorious caufe of a finner's falvalion, 
but Chrift's death and fuffe rings. Ycu muft alfo take into the ac- 
count faith, from which repentance flows, and is immediately 
connected. All thefe ingredients are to be found in a true and 
evangelical repentance. And we can have no proper notion of 
it, norexplain it according to the oracles of truth, if any one of 
jhefe is left out. God oftentimes calls upon fmners to repent, 
for this, among other reafons ; becaufe, although the grace be 
God's, the a£r. is ours. The Holy Ghoft is the principal agent 
in working all faving graces in the hearts of finners, fuch as faith, 
love, &c yet he will not believe for us, nor love God for us, 

neither will he repent for us. Further Superbus, I grant that 

God may for a time defer, and mitigate temporal puniftiments 
without any prejudice to the holincfs of his nature, or the righ- 
teoufnefs of his law, upon the hypocritical and feigned repen- 
tance of finners ; but from this his procedure with finners in this 


Let. 2. ( 63 ) 

life, we are not to conclude, that he is under a neceflity to deli- 
ver from the wrath to come. What fort of repentance think 
you was Ahab's ? Was it not entirely feism'd and hypocritical ? 
The lpirit of God gives him this character, as one that " fold 
himfeJf do do iniquitv." And yet we find upon his repentance 
the evil threaten'd was deferr'd, it did not happen in his day: 
Eut ome ftnrt time after his de.ith, there was not one of that 
wicked family hut what were utterly extirpated, and their me- 
morv cm off. To talk of repentance, and God's mercy, inde- 
pendent of Chrift's death as a facrifice for fin, as all that is re- 
quifite for pardon and reconciliation, is only talking at random; 
yea is worfe ; it is a taxing the infinite wifdom, goodneis, and 
love of God, in ehooiing and fending his Son into the world, 
to fuffer and die to fave tinners, when they could have been 
faved otherwife. But " without fhedding of blood, there is no 
remimonj" and if no remiffion, no exemption from condem- 

Pbihmon, I had almoft forgot to introduce unto you a great 
cloud of old Teftament witneffes, approved by God, and honou- 
rably ("poke of in the facred Scriptures; I mean thofe mention'd 
in the eleventh chap, of Paul's Epiftle to the Hebrews. By 
faith Noah, Abel, Abraham, &c. did fuch and fuch things, 
perform'd fuch and fuch actions, as were well pleafing to God; 
and upon the account of their faith were admitted into glory. 
Now I appeal to vourfelf, is there any mention made here of 
Jefus, or his atoning facrifice ? From hence I certainly con- 
clude, that Chrift's fatisfa&ion is not of fuch importance in the 

fcheme of man's falvation as you infinuate. To this Superbus 

I anfwer, by afking you this queftion. Were thofe old Tefta- 
ment Worthies faved in a different way from fuch as live under 
the Chriftian difpenfation ? Do you think that God had one 
way of pardoning their fins, and receiving them into glory, and 
a different way of dealing with us, in thefe refpeth ? The way 
that we come to be faved is revealed in the moll unequivocal 
terms, and prefs'd home on finners, as the only and alone way : 
fi Believe in the Lord Jefus Chrift, and thou fhalt be fave:l." 
I grant, that the revelation of Jefus under the old Teftament 
difpenfation, was but dark and oblcure, in comparifon of that 
under which we live; in which " Jefus is fet forth evidently 
crucify'd before us:" But dark and obfeure as it was, there was 
fuch a revelation of Chrift made, as was fumcient to lav a foun- 
dation for their faith, that the feed of the woman fhould come in 
the fulnefs of time, and by his death purchafe pardon and eternal 
falvation, for all who fhould believe in his name. Obferve 
what is predicated of thofe Woithies; v. 13. Thefe all died in 

faith i 

Let. 2. ( 64 ) 

faith, not having received the promifes; but having feen them afar 
oft", and were perfwaded of them, and embraced them. S e alfo 
in v. 26, 27 what is recorded of Mofes, viz. th .t he cfteem- 
cd the reproach oi Cbriji greater riches than the treasures of 
Egypt. The immediate ohjeft of their faith, viz. Jefus Chrifl 
the Lord, was not fuch a myfterious thing to them, as yon 
feem to imagine. Tho'e Worthies were all pardon'd and re- 
ceiv'd into favour, and exalted to glory in the very fame way, 
and by the ve-y fame means that Ave are. Their faith terminat- 
ed on the Mefliah yet to come ; ours as already manifefted : Here- 
in lies all the difference. " Abiaham, (fays our Lord) law my 
day afar off, and was ^lad." C( Jefus was the Lamb of God, 
(under the Old Teftamtnt, as well as under the New) which 
takcth away the fins of the world." '« He was the way, the 
truth, and the life," to thofe ancient believers, as well as to us, 
who live under a more bright difpenfation of the covenant of 

Philemon, I find great fault with your fyflem, aiTerting the 
neceffity of Chi id's facri flee for pardon, and final acceptance, 
from this con federation: How repugnant to divine jufbee mud 
it be, to punifli an innocent, for a guilty perfon ! " Shall net 
the Judge of all the earth do right ?" But where is the juftice 
and rectitude of fuch a fuMlitution ? Yea, is it not directly re- 
pugnant to the revealed will of God ? Taking up the Bible he 
read, Deut. xxiv. 16- The Fathers ihall not be put to death 
for the Children, neither (hall the Children be put to death for 
the Fathers, but every man (hall be put to death for his own (in. 
And in cafe you reply, that this is only enjoin'd on men, God 
leaves himielf at liberty to act as he in his infinite wifdom, and 
adorable fovereignty fees meet : I ihall read to you, out of an 
infpired Prophet, where the divine Being engages to purfuc the 
very fame plan of conduct, which he enjoin'd on his chofen 
Ifracl. Ezek. xviii. 4, 20. Behold, (fays God himfelf) al! 
fouls are mine, as the foul of the Father, fo alfo the loul of the 

Son is mine: The foul that finneth (hall die. r*. 20. The 

foul that (inncth it (hall die : The Son (hall not bear the ini- 
quity of the Father, neither (hall the Father bear the iniquity 
of the Son, the righteoufnefs of the righteous lhall be upon him, 
and the wickednelsof the wicked (hall be upon him. What law, 
what cuflom can you introduce, that ever fubfifled among men, 
that authoriz'd the fubftitution or an innocent perfon, in the 
room of the guilty ? Or, that an innocent perfon was ever al- 
low'd to (lep forward, as a vicarious fufferer ? I am mi (taken* 
if you find not Seneca, Lycur°us, Demojlhenes, and Plato, in di- 
rect oppofuion to you. Thefc famous lawgivers, and renown'd 


Let. 2. ( 65 ) 

orators, all unanimously declaring that," to nun'lh the inno- 
cent, for, or inlicai of the guilty, is a mod iniquitous tiling in 
the fight of the Gods." And why fhould you, (derating his 
voice, and delivering himfelf in a very an?;:')' tone) (o frfciiil- 
: / maintain, th it there was a necemhv that Chr:fb ih^uld 
r :r, " the jufl-, for, 01 fthe unjuhV' contrary to the 

e and purpart of the S'jrpuirvs jiilf no-w cued ; to the 
lorn of Nations, and the institutions o! the wtfelt Icgiflators. 
1 My d -ar Superbus, have patience a htt'e : "The v 
rriia worketh not the thj;hteou!hefs of God." Your objeQj m .-. 
fo complex, that I fcarce know where to begin to re;> : y. You 
a Cert, that it is contra-y to the divine law, to the cufrcin, and 
laws arnon^ nations, the doctrine of fublYituti on. I am fu'e, 
that there is nothing more common amon^ me 1 in pecuniary 
matters, than to admit of a fnrety, in ca:"e of the fadure of the 
principal dehtor, and this way the furety hecomes habte to p?.y 
the whole fuir. , in cafe of the infolvency of the dehtor. V/ich 
fuhmiuion to you Sriperiws, it is neither repugnant to tru- div ne 
law, nor to the laws and cuftoms of nations, to pjnifh the inno- 
cent for crinaes they were never guilty of. Doth not God in 
the fecond commandment th-eaten to punifh the iniquities of 
the Fathc-rs, upon the children, unto the third and fourth gene- 
ration ? Have we not va-ious infrances in Scripture, of children 
funVing for the crimes of the parents ? For the iniquity of Ham, 
was not his whole fucceedini; offspring pun luVd ? " Curfed be 
H*irn," &c. What think you of the Israelites fufferin r for the tranf- 
r^rciTion of Achan, and particularly, his whole innocent family } 
For the fault of Saul, were not feven of his Sons handed up be- 
fore the Lore? in G:heah of Saul ? For the fin of David in num- 
bering the people, the Lord fmote feventy thoufand of them 
with the petti- ence that they died. Obferve Jeremiah's com- 
plaint : i{ Our Fathers have finned, and are not, and we have 
borne their iniquity, i. e. the punilhment of their iniquity. 
Did you never take notice of that awful thre'atninsj pronounced 
by our Lord upon that wicked and adulterous generation, and 
which was actually accompli Ihed, not many years after his. af- 
cenfion : Math, xxhii. 35, 36". That upon you. may come all 
the righteous blood flied upon the earth, from the blood.of righ- 
teous Abel, unto the blood of Zechanas the Son of Barachias, 
whom ye flew between the porch and the altar. " Verily I 
fay unto you, that all thefe things lhall come upon this genera- 
tion. You certainly cannot forget the famous iiory ofthofe tv/o 
illuftrious Friends, Pythias and Damon : When the latter vas 
condemn'd by Diontfius the tyrant of Syracule, to die upon a 
certain day ; but haying feme dom-eftic affairs of very great im- 

F - portance 

Let. 2. ( 66 ) 

portance to fettle, begg'd leave to go home, and be would cer- 
tainly return on, or before the day appointed for his execution. 
This would not be granted. Pythias offer'd himfelf as a fubfti-* 
tute, and was accepted. The fatal day approached, but no ap- 
pearance of Damon. Pythias afcended the fcaftold, and with an 
air of compofuie and cheerfulnefs, was about to refign his life, 
injicad of his Friend. You know, that before the fatal ftroke 
was given, Damon made his appearance, and releas'd his Friend:' 
The Tyrant releas'd both. Did not the Carthaginians when 
brought lo the !a(l extremity, in their wars with the Romans, 
ofter up as fubjlitutes for the whole ftate, two hundred of their 
mort noble Children, to placate the wrath of the angry Gods. 
But if thefe inftances will not fuffice, I have in referve the au- 
thority of an infpir'd penman ; I mean the Apcftle Paul. Rom. 
v. 7. For fcarcely for a righteous man will one die, yet per- 
adventure for a good man fome would even dare to die. Fur- 
ther, was nor the do&rine oifubjlitution taught in all the bloody 
facrifices of the Jews: Particularly, on the great day of atone- 
ment. On that day the Hazazel, or fcape goat was brought 
before the door of the tabernacle of the congregation; the High 
Prieft placing his hands on its head, confeft over him, " all the 
(iris, iniquities, and tranfgreflioiis of the houfe of Ifrae!;" then 

lent him away into a land not inhabited To the Scriptures 

v >~ you ihtrodue'd in fupport of your hypothefis, I anfwer, that the 
holy and righteous law of God, can addrefs finners in no other 
language than this, " the foul that fmneth lhall die." It knows 
of no fubftitute; it cannot di reel: to one. But turn your eyes 
to the gofpel of the bleffed God, it difclofes to open view what 
the law knows nothing of; even a furety, who voluntarily offer'd 
himfelf in the room of the guilty. And here let it be obferv'd 
that although the law knows nothing of a furety, yet it cannot 
refute one, when its demands can be fully anfwer'd by the fure- 
ty. Therefore a fubftitute in our room is by no means deraga- 
tory to the honour of the law. Our glorious furety ftept in, 
fulfiPd the law and made it honourable: Suffer'd in the room 
of the (inner that punifhment, and bore that wrath, which the 
law threateh'd againft the perfonal tranfgreflor. Chrift was 
" made under the law." And " made a curfe for us." That 
other text which you mention'd in Ezek. xviii. 4. 20. ought 
to be very cautioufly explain'd. Taking thefe words uriclly, 
would they not run directly contrary to the exprefs letter of the 
fecond commandment ; and all the fcriptural inOances already 
cited, where many fuffer'd for the tranfgrefiion of one? Again, 
taking thefe words in their ftri&eft fenfe, and according to the 
letter, would they not convey this idea, that all miners with- 

Let. 2. ( 67 ) 

out exception muft die ; and that no innocent ptr(on ftiould die ? 
But was not Chrift perfectly pure and holv, without the lead taint 
of moral pollution ? Yet he died the painful, fhameful, and curfed 
death of the crofs. The meaning of thefe words I apprehend is 
this; that the children of wicked parents (hewing an averfation 
to their iniquitous prances, an infinitely holy, and righteous 
Judge, will not lay their fins to theft char--, nor call them to an 
account hv puni Thing them for their iniquities. 

SupefbiiSy vou make a verv great outcry about the injuftice of 
this divine procedure, in punifhing an innocent perfon for, or 
infieai of the cmj Ity. Strange ! that the mod unoan-alls'ed in- 
ftance of God's love towards finners fhould be taxed with the 
greateft irfjuftiee ! In fpite of all that contempt that may, or 
can be pour'a on this moft benign ceconomy of the Almighty, 
this is the conftant language of the Holy Ghoft on this head: 
'* That Chrift was made fin for us," and " a curfe for us;" 
that " he fuffer'd the juft, for the unjuft ;" that all our fins were 
chai'g'd to his account ; that he lifted them up upon the crofs, and 
bore them away. But why fhould this be thought ftrange, or 
unjuft ? Was he not Lord of his own life ? Could he not, with- 
out acting contrary to the ftneteft rul&s of juftice, difpofe of it as 
he faw meet? Hear his own words on this head; John x. 18. 
1 lay down my life of mylelf; I have power to lay it down, &c. 
Was there any external foTce in the cafe ? Was he dragg'd to 
the altar ? No; I delight to do thy will O my God. Was not 
his fubftitution in our room, esety way adequate to anfwer the 
end propos'd by it ? For this you may confult Ifai. liii. 7, 16, 
11. Heb. i. 13. Ads ii. 24. Did the imputation of our fins 
to him as our furety, pollute and contaminate his holy nature ? 
It would have been the greateft injuftice, (ifpoffible) to have 
made him a finner ; but none, if we can credit the Scriptures, 
to be " made fin," i. e. to have all our fins imputed to him, 
and he dealt with, as if he had been the principal tranfgrefibr. 
It would have been the greateft injuftice to have fubftituted any 
one in our room, that might have perifVd in the attempt : But 
our glorious High Prieft being the Mighty GoJ, could n< t but 
come offthe ftage triumphantly, and honourablv. He died, and by- 
dying, conquer'd death. This corn of wheat fell into the ground, 
rofe again to the eternal advantage of Myriads of loft finners. 
Again, had he not Heaven's authority for what he did ? And is 
it pofrible to conceive, that he who is the fource of all juftice, 
fhould fet his feal to an unjuft action ; or authorize any one to 
any office, or perform any a&ion, that was not perfectly confor- 
mable to the ftri&eft rules of righteoufnefs. " I came not of 
myfelf, but the Father fent me." In a word, is not our fubfti- 

F 2 tute 

Let. 2- ( 68 ) 

tutc of the fame human nature with us? Can there he any in- 
jufrice for one of the fame fpecific nature fuffering for another, 
taking into the account what was ohferv'd above. And was not 
our furety, Emmanuel God with us, God in our nature ? He is 
one with us, by virtue of the ordination and appo ntment of 
Heaven; by which he is made over to us as our furety, to pay 
our de!)t of obedience, and fuffering ; and we < r iven to him, to 
be redeem'd by his blood. [aftead my dear Superbits of find- 
ing fault with this all-gracious difpenfation of the Almighty, let 
us rather fall down and adore, and from our very fouls, reve- 
rence that unfearchable wifdom and prudence of God, that con- 
trived fuch a way whereby r ahation is afcertain'd to us, without 
the leal! blemiih upon the nature, or infringement on the hoi) 
law of God. Let us with grateful hearts, fhow forth the praifes 
of the Eternal Father, who 1 pa red not his own Son, but oeliver'd 
him up to the death for us all : A Son for Haves ; the Lord of all, 
for worms of dud ! Let us celebrate in longs of praife, that irn- 
menfe. ineffable love of the Eternal Son, who although " he 
was the bright nefs of the divine glory," and " who thought it 
no robbery, to be equal with God;" yet came, was made man, 
appear'd in the form of a fervant ; liv'd a forrowful life, and died 
an accurfed death ! Let us with all Saints and Angels round 
about the throne, ascribe all might, majefty, dominion, wifdom, 
and riches, to him who died to purchafe a right to that heaven- 
ly inheritance, for fuch as had utterly forfeited it. 

Superbus being haftily calPd away, promis'd that he would 
confider on what I had offer'd in aniwer to his objections : It is 
very likely Onefimus, that in the courfe of our cpiftolary corref- 
pondence, I may be often interrupted by him. I think if I am 
not far miftaken, he is defuous to 1 know the i( truth as it is in 
Jems." But confidering the ignorance he was brought up in, 
together with the falle principles inftill'd into his mind; it may 
be a considerable time before he get the better of his long rooted 
prejudecs. But in the mean time, you may reft aiTur'd, that 
whatever pafTes between him and your Friend will not be kept a 
fcx. ret from you : And may it tend to your further confirmation 
in the doctrines of the gofpel : That when others are <( laid 
about v th every wind of doctrine," " ever learning, and never 
to come to the knowledge of the truth ;" you may be more 
and more eftablifh'd in the truth as you have been taught. And 
with an increale of your knowledge in the principles of our holy 
religion, uny your loye to the Lord Jefus grow more and more, 
until you reach that place, where your long ftiall eternally be, 
*' unto him that loved us, and wafhed us from our hns, in his 
Own blood, be praife, riches, wifdom, dominion, and glory, for 


Let. 2. ( 69 ) 

ever and ever. Amen That this may he the cafe with my 

dear Friend, is the fincerc with, and fervent pra\cr of 



Dear Onelimus. 

r Received yours; am exceeding happy to hear of the increafe 
-"■ of the family, and eftatfc of our valuable Friend Ar:Jlarchus. 
May he long he fpared to enjoy the one, and he a blerTing to the 
other. You certainly muft reckon youriclf very happy in the 
co npany, and conversation of fuch a worth\ man. The value 
of a jrood man is never properly known, nordu'y eftimated, hut 
by fuchj as pcflefa the fame gracious difpofitfon. The aphorifm 
or an infpired Prophet will h 'Id true in all ca'"_5, and panlcularly 
in this ; <l how can two walk together exc:pt they he agrefed." 
You inform me, that the \earlv income of our Friend is gre; 

nented. The Lord in His all-wife and gracious providence, 
" maketh poor, and he maketh rich." There is nothing that 
we poiTe.'s, either of a temporal, or fpiritua! 1 ut what 

owes its fourct to his foverei^ri goodness. He bleffes the labour 
of the diligent; or elfe " the hand o^ the diligent never wowtd 
make rich." ts Is not this great Babylon, (laid proud Nebu- 
chadnezzar) that I have ^ui It, &c. He forgets to acknowledge 
the G "d of the whole Karth, in whafe hand he, and 3 
are. He attributes the whole to hitnfelfj as if his hand had cre- 
ated the ftones, as well as erected the fabric He gloried only 
in the itren : f h of his own arm, and the extent of his own wif- 
doin. L I heconfider that the materials of that grand city 

were Gcd\ . V'hatever we pofTefs of this world's £ood-, he- 
long 1 the God of nature : And even, when in our 
poueffiori, he: his an unlienable right to them, and an indispu- 
table claim upon them. If we faw pr^perlv, and as we ihni! I, 
we mischt difcern this rtwStto wHtten In legible characters, a m^t- 
to en we pofiefs and enjov, to that °;reat GoJ, 

illy thev are : " lb :'■ ore mite!" Did you e 

take notice' Onjimui; offhat piou* arifw'gr fchkfl Jacob gave to 


Let. 3. ( 70 ) 

his brother Efau ; when enquiring concerning the company that 
followed him: (< Thefe are the Children which God hath gra- 
cioufly given thy fervant." The food that we eat, the clothes 
which we wear, the earth that wc tread on, the air that we 
breathe in, are all God's peculiar property : They are (till in 
the power of his fovereign will, .Jo continue them or not; to 
render them ferviceable, or not. What little reafon have the 
rich in this world to be proud of their fplendid fortunes. What 
an abfurd thing would it be, for a beggar to be proud, when at- 
tir'd in another's raiment, and fed at another's table, and enjoy- 
ing all the neceflaries of life 4 through the channel of another's 
bounty, and liberality : Juft as abfurd is it, to lee thofe who live 
upon Heaven's bounty, picque themfelves upon this, that they 
are more wealthy and gay than their Neighbours. I know no- 
thing men refemb!e Satan more in than pride. This is the peculi- 
ar fignature, and diftinguifhing character of thefe dark revolted 
fpirits. Inftead of treating our inferiors with difdain, or behav- 
ing with that haughty fupcrcilious air, which many do, we ought 
rather to behave with the greateft humility of fpirit, confidering 
that as the great Lord of all, in his providence hath made a 
diftinclion among mankind, that we were not among the poor- 
eft, and lowed: of the human fpecies. If it he thus with our 
temporal enjoyments, and earthly comforts ; if they are all 
lodg'd in his fovereign hand, and difpens'd according to his lo.- 
vereign pleasure; much more our fpiritual (^v\ng graces. If 
wc have faith, God is its author, and its finifher ; if we perfe- 
vere to the end, and in the ifTue, receive the end of our faith, 
the falvation of our fouls; it is owing to his putting his ipirit in 
us, and his promife of never turning away from us to do us good. 
If we walk in his ways, and are prefetVd from thefe vices which 
are the current plague of the age, or place we live in; it is not 
owing to our care, watchfulnefs, and prudence; no, but to God's 
faithfulnefs in the accompli fhment of the promife. " I will 
never leave thee, nor forlake thee." Proud fmners, that would 
detract from the glory of that Almighty Lord, by denying the 
gifts of his providence and grace, to be folely lodg'd in the hand 
of his fovereign and gracious will. " By the grace of Gcd, I 
am that I am," is the confeflion and acknowledgment of an emi- 
nent Apoftle. The falvation of Tinners through our Lord Je- 
fus Chnir, is peculiarly calculated to put an end to all felf-glori- 
ation; to bring down the lofty looks of man, and lay in the duft 
the pride of all flefti ; that the Lord alone may be exalted. The 
holy Chriftian, is the humble Chriftian. He is clothed with 
humility. This is the mod fplendid garb ever we wore; it is an 
external badge of our fpiritual, and heavenly defcent; the mod 


Let. 3. ( 71 ) 

unequivocal evidence, that we are the Difciplcs, and followers 
ot him who was *' meek and lowly." 

You infift Oncfimus in yours, that J lhouid continue my for- 
mer fubject refpecting the priefthocd of Chrift. I told you alrea- 
dy, that there was a neceffity that our High Prieft fhould offer 
liimfelf a facrifice to God of a fweet fmelling favour, in our room 
and ftead, by an argument taken from the nature of God, and 
the threatning of his law, &c. Do you now a(k, is Chrift, God 
and Man, our Saviour, not only by the example he exhibited, or 
the doctrines which he taught, but by his meritorious death ? 
Did he die, not only for our e;ood, but in our ream ? Is the death 
which he luffer'd on the crofs, a true, real and propitiatory facri- 
fice, for the fins, tranfgreffioni:, and iniquit es of all who (hall 
believe in his name for reniimon. In order to confirm this im- 
portant, and comfortable truth, permit me to lay before you a 
few of thofe defignations and chaiacters attributed to our High 
Prieft in Scripture. 

He is denominated a Mediator: The quedion is, in what 
fenfe is this title applicable to Jefus? I anfwer negatively, not 
In this reflri&ed fenfe, as an interpreter of the divine mind only, 
as Mofes is call'd Deut. v. 5. Exod. xx. 19. but positively he 
is fuch a Mediator, as interpos'd between God and Tinners, tak- 
ing up rhe difference, and making up the breach ; rcftoring peace 
between parties at an infinite moral diftance. But how js this 
peace reftor'd by the Mediator ? How come Heaven and Earth 
to be reconciPd ? How doth it happen, " that mercy and truth 
meet together, that righteoufnefs and peace mutually embrace 
each other?" How comes the flaming fword of incenfed juftice 
to be fheath'd, and the inheritance reftor'd ? Let the holy and 
unerring oracles of God anfwer the quedion. Co!, i. 20. He 
hath made peace by the blood of his crofs- Not by the doctrines 
he taught, or the example he exhibited only, but principally by 
his meritorious death and fufferings.— Was not the principal 
and primary end of Chrift's mediation, to offer himfelf to God 
as an atoning facrifice, and upon the footing of that, to enter 
into the holicil of all, there to " appear in the pretence of God 
for us ?" He'?, ix. 12 Neither by the blood of Bulls or Goats, 
but by his own hood, having obtained eternal redemption for us ? 
Eternal redemption was, (you fee) obtain'd for us by the pour- 
ing out of his blood as a piacular victim in our ftead ; and that pre- 
vious to his entering into his glory. It is very obfervable, that 
for rhe moll: part, (if not always) where Jefus is denominated 
ivbuiatar in Scripture., there is mention made of his blood. Heb. 
xW. 24. .And to Jefus the Mediator of the new Covenant, and 
to the blood of IprinkJing. . Tim. ii. 6. There is one God, and 


Let. 3. ( 72 ) 

one Mediator, — who gave himfelf a ranfom. Obferve a-an ano- 
ther fcriptural defignation oi our High Ptiefl, a furety. llc u . vis. 
22. By fo much was Jefus made the furety of a better Tefla- 
rnent. — A Mediator properly fpeaking, only prefent? h mfelf be- 
tween the parties at variance; tries if by any means reconcilia- 
tion can be effected, a furety goes further; if there are conditi- 
ons to be performed in order to make peace between the difTen- 
tients, he engages to fulfil thefe : If it be a pecuniary debt, to 
difcharge the luir. ; or if punifhment be reqoir'd, to hear that. 
Prov. xxii. 26, 27. Chrifl is conftituted the head and furety 
of the new covenant, (or Teilament) in which God promises 
all fpiritual and eternal good things; but upon condition that 
Jefus fhall pay our debt of obedience which we owe the law as a 
covenant, and our debt of punifhment which we were o' nox-cus 
unto by law tranfgrelfion. This Jefus as our furety consented 
to do, this he actually did ; in his holy life, and expiatory death. 
And that thefe conditions were to all intents and purpofes ful- 
fil'd, we learn from his appeal to the Father on this head, John 
xvii. 4. I have glorify 'd thee on the earth, I have finifhed the 
work which thou gaveft me to do. And at the conciufion of his 
fufferings, knowing that all things were accomplifhed, the law 
magnify'd and made honourable, juftice fuily and completely 
fatisfy'd, and fo our debt of obedience and punifhment di'charg'd ; 
u he bowed the head and faid it is finiihed." This is put be- 
yond all doubt, in the Father's railing him from the dead, and 
receiving him up into glory, and fetting him at his own right 
hand. John xvi. 

Permit me Omfimus, to elucidate this great and comfortable 
truth, from the efTccls afcribed to ChritVs death, and biocd-fhed- 
ding. The firir I fhall mention is that great and unfpeakable 
benefit, Redenftion. How copious and M\ are the Scriptures on 
this head: They explain the bleifing, and at the fame time di!co- 
ver its meritorious caufe. 1 Cor. vu 20. Ye are icdeemed, not 

■with corruptible things, &c : ut with the precious blood of 

Chrifl. Frmi what we are redeemed the fame infpired penman 
informs us, in his epifUe to Titus, chap. ii. 14 Chrifl hath gi- 
ven himfelf for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity. 
That the grand capital blefling of forgivenefs is obtain'd through 
the blood of the Redeemer, we are alio taught in Eph. i. 7. In 
whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgive- 
nefs of fins. 

In order to give you a proper idea of this word, allow me to 
obferve, that it is variously taken in Scripture, according to the 
fubjeft treated of: Sometimes it fignifies to lay hold on the pre- 
fent opportunity, in order to gain the end we have in view. 


Let. 3. ( 73 ) 

NT. v. 16. Redeeming "the 'time BecauTe the cfarj-s are evil. 
It i> fometimes taken in a irttffapnt nTe, to de'li 'er, - r re- 

dee v the intervention oF a p- : cc: In wfiich fenfe, we 

are • tand r he deliverance o'r redemption of the Ifraelitcs 

out hf E^ypt : And i'o Mqfcs ; s c.ih'd their deliverer, -rc- 

er, Ae>s vii 35. In thi< is very frequently u'cd in 

the hook of Plahtis ; where God is laid to deliver, or redeem 
fouls of his fervants, '. c. when he frees them from forr>c 
danger either felt, or f-ar'd. But chiefly and properly, it is ta- 
ken, Br that deliverance and freedom from fomething noxious 
and evil, by the intervention oTa 'price' By a price, 1 mean 
any thins; that is of' fufficient value for accompli filing rhe end 
propofed, viz. redemption: Thus the firft born among the J 
were to he redeein'd with five (hekels of filver. Numb. ii;. 46, 
47. The inheritances of fuch as through poverty, were con- 
ftrai-Vd to mortgage them, might be alfo redremed with money. 
Levit. xxv. 

Let uo now fee Onefimut, how we come to he redeem'J : What 
is our redemption owin^ to? What is Its meritorious caufe ? 
That fitver and gold, the blood nf Bulls and Goats, have no me- 
rit in them to procure our freedom, is granted bv all. Is it then 
by ChritVs atonement metaphorically rifken, as was the redemp- 
tion of the jews out of Egypt ? Or his death, as a Martyr to 
confirm the truth o^ what he taught, andjn connexion with rhe 
example and pattern he hath lefc h s Difciples and follower^ to 
imitate, and copy after ? Or is it owing chiefly and principally 
to his death as a rantom for our fouls; without which we, and 
all mankind would have lirn under the power of fin, in the " gall 
ofbtftefnefs and bond of iniquity^* for ever and ever; and in 
ery to the prince of the power of the air ? This 
I think, mnft be brthfefs'd to ; e the truth, v. hen we confider 
mankind in a fcriptural light. Are not all mankind by nature, 
and ConfiderM as the defcendanr- offirflcn Ad^m, obnoxious un- 
to, and imme y ' m g under the moft gr e^cus fervicude to 
fin ? Obferve the iniierabie, but genuine account the Apoftle 
Peter gives of Tinners, of all fififiers Ky nature, Pet. ii. 19. While 
they promife them liberty, they themfelves are the fervants of 
corruption ; for ot whom a man is overcome, is he brought into 
bondage. The great prophet o\ the church bears teftimony to 
the fame doctrine, and confirms the fame lamentable truth : 
" Whofoever committeth fin, is the fervant of fin" In this 
cafe do not finful men become obnoxious to the law's curfe, and 
the wrath of an angry God? Gal. iii. 10. Are not all mankind 
obnoxious to death, no* only temporal, but eternal death, con- 
fiding in the everlafting reparation of both foul and body, f.o:n 


I et 3- ( 7 1 j 

the i Me prcfcncc of God in hell-fire tor ever? Doth not 

over finiu not hold them in his 

us, leacUag them captive at his pleafure ? " \ 
was the Son of God manifested to deli i of the Dc- 

11 He took upon him the nature of the Iced i on, 

(cat h, and him that haJ the pow 
that is the Devil on think Omj%tm$ t thai the fptfil 

, when he del the whole hui- 

race a, thus in a Aa f c of Ha very and bondage ? Do n 
in general experience every kind of mifcry, and every degre. 
unify, that can j^oifihly flow from 

! "he prilon in which the flaves are detain'd q 
he referr d cither to this corruptible body, which is like a 
the foul, and out of which all hclicvci irnefllv to he 

delivered :" Rom. vii. 24. Or we may rather view it a> hav 
a reference to this prefent evil world ; a world replete with c^ 
kind o\ mifcry, truly a vale of' place of weeping, lamcn- 

ion and wi 1 to the wicked the fuburbs of that denial 

pn on, out of which they (hall never he released. Th 
with which captive finncrs arc bound, are the lulh of the fl'fh, 
and of the mind; with thefc Satan the ftroag man that k 
the hoirlc, detains his prey in clofe cud i I iir,. it. 26 — 

it it wa j'tmuSf that the Spirit of 'Jod draw^thc ai 

lire of human nature, you might be apt to fufpc&mc of p 
lialil tal 1 wasin a bad humour, whenlth 

the whole laplcd race pf Adam. J' 
I cannot he'n it. — I imagine then, that you mull cv 
me, no leb than a lacrirke of infinite value, ani 

• could warn fuch an Ejliiop in : 1 h : r no LcCl than 
he who is " GoJ nianifcfted in the flefli/' 

•h, and linn that had the . uild 

have d "'ivcrij from the power and icr 
n ; n 01, from 

made li 
mce us that it is Chrilt\ death thir i> the p 
. we find that where the lattei 

In fhcfe S 
QOofultij of our reden 

into the blood of the I was the ranfom he 

gave, the price he paid down fni our 1 I -ncz he is not 


,e anrier rym from the gredc word 

/ tx'iui info 
-my with the Cavalry 1 1 the 

Let. 3. ( 75 ) 

only cali'd httron a ran r om, but ant: -Intra, a ranfom for «f. 
The Spirit of God ftrongly guards us again ft every thing that 
might tend to give uuhe flighted views of redemption by the Mood 
of Jefus; to (hut us up to the faith and belief of this grand and 
interefting article, that v»*e are redeem'd with a price, and that 
price the blood of Jefus ; and that it was paid down for u>. 
i ft Tim. ii. 6. Who sravc himfelf a ranfom fcr all. The 
prepofition here denotes ChrifVs fuhftitution in our (lead ; as in 
many ether paces of holy writ. ci Would toGod, paid David) 
I had died for, or inftead of 'thee." &c. Archilaus is faid to 
have reigned in the room, or ir.ftrad of Herod, as I already ob- 
ferved. In our redemption by (Thrift's death there is evidently 
an imputation of our fins to Jefus, as there is in the day of a tin- 
ner's believing in Jefus an imputation of his righteoufnefs to us. 
What he did, and fuffer'd was for us. For us he liv'd, and for 

us he died. But that you may obtain a more compleat idea 

of this matter; allow me to obferve, that the redemption of cap- 
tives among men may be obtain'd different ways: As when a 
mafter liberates his ilave by a gratuitous manumiflion,. without 
any price payed down as a compenfation for his liberty; by per- 
mutation or change; this mode of redemption frequently happens 
in the time of war: The Carthaginians feitt fo many Roman 
captives to Rome, in order that the like number might be fent 
back to Carthage; fometimes the redemption of captives is ac- 
compliftied by force, as when David by the ftrength of arms, re- 
covered all that the Amalakitcs had violently taken away, when 
they burnt Ziklag; laftly redemption fometimes takes place by 
fome fatisfaefcion given, as when a furety pays for an infolvent 
debtor, or fuffers puniftiment inftead of the p^rfon, or perfons, in 
whofe room and ftead he ftands. Now lo apyly this to the cafe 
in hand: [n the bufinefs of our redemption, the firft could not 
take place ; for although we are fav'd by grace, yet it isftiil, and 
muft be through the redemption that is in Chrift Jefus. For, 
the femence of the law was, " the foul that fmneth fhall die." 


Campus Martiu:, and there offer 'd up a fheep, a fow, and a bull, which 
they call'd a luflrum^ or ranfom. Hence the phraie common among 
the Romans lujlrare urbem, to ranfom, or make an atonement for the 
city 5 to redeem it from fome impending danger by a piacular facrifice. 
Thus the Decii alfo are faid to atone for the Roman army by devoting 
their lives to death. — In ancient Gaul nothing was more common, than 
to offer up human facrifices as a ranfom .-'-Thus we fee the word ;o re- 
deem, and that by the price of blood, is not only fcriptural, but com- 
monly us'd in the fame fenfe among the heathen nations. 

unum pro mult is dabitur caput. Virg, 

Let. 3. C 76 ) 

And death wou'd have been the inevitable confequence, if a 
furety had not ftept forward, and undertaken to fatlsfy its mofr. 
extenfive claim. If we could have been redeem'd by an aft of 
mere mercy, and giace, we have no reafon to think that God 
would have given up his Son to the death for us all. As the 
firft could not take place in the bufinefs of our redemption, nei- 
ther could the fecond : What could we give in exchange for our 
fouls ? Could either men or anrrels give a fufticient ranfom to 
God, as the purchafe of redemption ? Neither could we be deli- 
vered by force: Could the force of arms have broke the chains 
wherewith the captive was bound ? Could we have been intro- 
due'd into the pretence of an nhnitely holy God, and enter up- 
on the inheritance of the Saints in light, by an aft of violence ? 
No. It remains therefore, that we are redeem'd by price, and 
the price is, " the precious blood of Chrifl." 

But Onefimus, although our redemption is neither effected by 
mere favour, permutation, or force, yet I confefs, that in a cer- 
tain refpeft, thefe feveral ways of rcleafe are found, as fo many 
concurrent cau'es, in effeftuating this grand and falutary fcheme 
of man's redemption. Hence a variety or Scripture phrafes 
which feem repugnant to one another, may be eahly reconcil'd. 
e. g. Sometimes we are faid to be fav'd by God's free grnce. 
Eph. ii. 8, 9. Rom. iii. 24. Asrain we find our redemption 
and falvation attributed to the price which Chrifl: paid down, 
viz. his blood, 2J Cor. vi. 20. Ye are bought w ; th a price. 
ifl: Peter i. 9. Ye are not redeem'd with corruptible things, 
&C--~ -but with the precious blood of Chrifl:. And this way we 
C'linc to be redeem'd by an interchange of perrons : Gal. iii. 1 j. 
Chrifl hath redeemed us from the cuife ot the Jaw, being made 
a curfefor us. In a word, our redemption and iaivation is fome- 
times attributed to the exertion oi almighty power: Ifai. Ixiii. 
5. 1 looked, and there was none to help, and 1 wondered that there 
was none to uphold ; therefore mine own arm brought falvation 
unto me; Col. ii. 15 Now Onefimus, all theft various and 
different accounts of our redemption, will hold exaftiy true, 
when we coufider redemption in refpeft of God the judge, Chrifl: 
the redeemer, man the redeemed, and Satan from whofe power 
and tyranny we are redeem'd. With regard to the Judge, was 
it not entirely owing to his free and difmtereited love, that he 
fent his Son to fuffcr and die in the room of the guilty, to procure 
their refcue ? John iii. 16. With regird to jepis the Redeemer, 
he ujracioufly lubmitted to an interchange of perfons : He for us, 
v/as made fin, and a curfe ; to deliver us from both: On the part 
oi the redeemed, nothing could have been more gratuitous and 
free; our own wifdom could not have contriv'd the glorious 

• : - . fcheme, 

Let. 3. ( 77 ) 

fcheme, neither could our own arm have achiev'd it. Of the 
p.-ople there was none with him, either in laying the p'an, or in 
"»rs execution. In a word, with regard lo Satan, we are redeem'd 
from his flivery, entirely and only, by an aft of Almighty pow- 
cjf: The gteat Redeemer " contended with him, that contended 
^vith us. v Consequently our redemption is brought about both 
, and power. The former has a reference to God; the 
iurer to Satan. By the former, weare deliver'd from fin's guilt, 
and consequently from condemnation ; by the latter, we are freed 
horn the dominion and tyrannizing power ot the Devil. There 

no price paid down to that unjulr. ufurper in order to deli- 
ver the lawful captive; andrefcue finncrs from his chains 

This accounts tor the twofold character by which the Redeemer 

is oftentimes defign'd in Scripture; a Lion, and a Lamb. As a 

Lamb, he oflTer'd himfeif up a faennce ; as a Lion, be obtained 

js victory. A Lamb refers to his merit, a Li^n to his 

er. As a Lamb he redeem'd us to Goi by his bleed ; as a 
Lien hetriumph'd over our foes by his power. 

May we not learn fomewhat cf the glorious echievrnent? nf 
cur P.edeemer, from a certain defignation he obtains in the eld 
Teftament ? We find him there exprefsly feali'd Goel Redeemer, 
I know, (fays Job, chap. \\\. 25.) that my Gzel Redeemer 
Iveth. And the Goel Redeemer fhall come from Z;on to turn 
away iniquity from Jacob, Lai. hx. 20. What the Gael oi 

hfid a right to do, that oar Redeemer actually did. The 
Go I of old had a fourfold power and authority in veiled in him. 
lie ppfigffr'd a righs and power to redeem anv thing that \ 
Sf>Jd, Of alienated, upon the account of the poverty of his Bro- 
ther, or Neighbour ; whether it was a hcufe, a fteid, or an in- 
heritance, occ. Levit. xxv. 25. — He had a right to redeem his 
Erother, if fold to a ll anger. Levit. xxv. — Again he had a 
right and power to vindicate the blood of any per Ion in n un- 
awares, if he found the homicide without the gates of the city 
of refuse; Numb. xxxv. Deut. xix. 6. hence he :(Pd 

Goel Hadam, the avenger of blood, if the maufiayer got within 

walls of the city of refuge, it was beyend the power ot 
avenge: of blood to put him to de^th : But if found the 

walls, he had authority presently to vindicate the the 

(lain man. In this city, he behov'd to remain until the d 
of the High Pneft ; afterwards he might, with' ei of be- 

ing put to death, return home, and take pofleflian of his houfc 
and inheritance as formerly. ||— Lailly the Goel of old had a. 

ru i t 

II The Jews have a tradition, that it v/a* ufual for the Mo: her of the 
High Prielt to fend rich prefents to the exil'd homicide, to prevent 
hi* wi/hing, or praying for his de*th. 

Let. 3. ( 78 ) 

light to marfy the wife of his deceas'd Brother, or near kinfman, 
to r.tife up feed to his Brother. This was permitted by an all- 
wile providence, for the prefervation of the families, and tribes 
of Ifrael, diftinfct Deut- xxv. 5. The manner of betrothing the 
wile of the deceas'd was, the Gael fpread the fkirt of his garment 
over her: Hertce fays Ruth to Naomi, fpread the fkirt of thy 
garment over me, for thou aft Gocl> a near kinfman: Implying 
htt Jefire 01 a matrimonial contract. The Caldec paraphrase on 
thefe words, more clearly expounds the fenfe: Let thy name be 
put spoil thy handmaid, by taking her to wife. This cuftom 
that prevail'd among the Jews of fpreading the fkirt of the gar- 
ment over the intended bride, was in token of that right and au- 
thority he had over her; and as a pledge of conjugal afredion, 
love and protection. Deut xxii. 30. Ezek. xvi. 8. 

That the death of Jeius is a proper and real fatisfaction to di- 
vine juftice for our fins, will farther appear, when we confider 
another effect of it, reconciliation. The Scriptures arc every- 
where plain and full on this head, where the fu\je£t is treated of 
by the infpired penmen. M All things are of God, who hath 
reconciled us to himfelf, by Jefus Chrift." &c. «' Having 
made peace by the blood of his crofs; to reconcile all things to 
himfelf." — And you who were fometimes alienated, and ene- 
mies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconcile 
m the body of his flefh. || Now, if we are reconcil'd by the death 
of Chrift, there mud be fuch a real efficacy in it as to fatisfy the 
juftice of God, for otherwife he could not but have appear'd in 
a (late of hoftility againft finrul men. ■■■ To reconcile, is to 
renew that ancient friendmip whitm once had fubfifted between 
two, or more parties; but for fome reafon or other had been 
diilolv'd. Previous to the fall of the firft man, and as long as he 
continued in his primeval integrity in which he was form'd by 
the creating hand of his Maker; he was in a (late of the mofr. 
finer, alliance, and the mod endearing friendmip with Heaven : 
God lov'd his creature, the Creator was the centre of the crea- 
ture's affection. Man's apoilafy was the tearing of the creature 
!iom God ; was productive of God's aveffation to the finful crea- 
ture. An infinitely holy and righteous God, caft an eye of 
tomplaceney and delight on innocefrt man. Then was the hap- 
•iy period when the Almighty rejoie'd in all his works together. 
But alas ! fin foon diflblv'd the endearing connexion, broke the 
hands of friendship between Heaven and earth. Now he be- 
holds, and cannot otherwife but behold the whole human race, 
as a company of rebels, traitors to his crown and government; 
affe&ing independency on their rightful Lord and fovereign. 

II 2d Corinth, v. t8, 19, 22. Col. i. 20. 

Let. 3. ( 79 ) 

Now reconciliation can never take place, until fin, the caufc of 
the difference be remov'd ; and this, if we believe God fpeak- 
ing in the word, is, and only could be effe&ed by the death of 
Chriil : For to this as the caufe, is our reconciliation every where 
in Scripture referr'd. . Why ftiould this precious blood be under- 
va'ued, trodden under foot, and counted but a common thin*, 
not fir to anfwer this valuable purpole of introducing reconcilia- 
tion, between an offended God and offending men. When we 
were enemies, we were reconcil'dto God by the death of his Son. 
Rom. v. 10. Not by the efficacy of his doctrine, the force of 
his example, nor the prevalency of his interceffion in glory ; b'it 
chiefly, and principally by his death upon the crofs. 

But that you may obtain a more coin prehen five and clear 
view o\ this falutary blefiing, which is the immediate fruit and 
effeft of the death of Jefus; allow me to obferve, that reconcili- 
ation is fometimes attributed to the Father, fometimes to the 
Son, and fometimes to believers themfelves; But indeed, for 
very different reafons and caufes. — 'God the Father may be faid 
to be the author of reconciliation, in as much as, from ages ever- 
lafting he determined to receive the feed of Chrift into favour, 
and reftore them to a place in his affection and love, which they 
had forfeited by their apoftafy ; and in time fent out of the 
depths of his fovercign love, his own eternal and only begotten 
Son into the world, cloth 'd him with our nature, gave him Up 
to the death for us, and accepted of the facririce of himfelf, as a 
proper and real fatisfa6tion, for all the injuries he had fuftai x\d 
from finning man. — Believers may be faid to reconcile them- 
felves to God, in as far, as they by raith lay hold on this 
great bleifing offer'd in the gofpel. Faith in the blood of Jelus, 
is of the greateft confequence in this matter ; it not only ftrikes 
the fword out of the (inner's hand, but the enmity out of his 
heart : 2d Cor. v. 20. Wc pray you, in ChrifVs (lead, be ye 
reconciled to God. There can be no removal of the difference 
on our part, no actual reconciliation, but by faithA embracm* 
the atonement and fatisfa&ion of Jelus, as held forth in the gof- 
pel : " Let him take hold of my ftrength, and he (hail make 
peace with me." We may give all our goods to feed the po.^r, 
and our bodies to the flames, and yet after all remain in a itate 
of hostility with Heaven, if deftitute of that faith which claims 
him who hath made peace by the blood of his crofs.— '——Again 
our reconciliation is referr'd to the Son of God : Rom. v. 10. 
Eph. ii. 16. The free fovereign love and grace of God the 
Father, is the primary moving caufe; faith on our part, is the 
inflrumental caufe; the death of Jelus, the meritorious procur- 
ing caufe of our reconciliation : It is this, which fatisfies divine 


Let. 3. ( 80 ) 

iullioc, and turns away God's wrath : It is this, when trailed in 

the groUnd of our acceptance with God, that kills <uir enmity, 
as i reconc les on hetrts to the holine/s oi the ilwme nature, 
■a\(\ righteonfnef* or the divine law. 

But that there may remain no doubt in our minds re r pe&ing 
rY,> tireat truth, viz. that the death of Jeliis is the meritorious 
cii'c of one recoil illation ; Die Spirit or God u : cs another 
nhrafe to elucidate, and confirm this iuterefting point: ilem. iii. 
2f. Whom God hath fct forth to UcaprofJtiatiatL, through faith 

os blood: ill [ohn ii. I. And he is the propitiation far sur 
It is too well known to need any proof here, that this t 
refers to the turning away or the divine v rath, by a propitiatory 

nfice; and is not only ufed in this fenie in the holy Scrip- 
51 J res, but alio hy profane authors. || When Chrifl then is faid 
r 1 be a propitiation for our fins, the meaning is, that he hath by 
that facrifice which he offer'd up of himfelf, pacitv'd an offended 
G'xi, and rrnder'd him propitious and meiciful to the finner 
which believes in Jefus. You know Oncfimus, that the Ram 
which was offer'd up in facriflce for fin, was call'd the Ram of 
the- propitiation, or atonement. Numb. v. 8. — Be fides the Ram 
of atonement, whereby an atonement (hall le made for him. 
And that folemn feflival which prevail'd annually among the 
jews, on which a propitiation was made tor the fins of the whole 
congregation, was call'd the day or frofitiation, or atonement. 
Lcvit. xvi. When Chrifl is therefore laid to be a propitiation 
for our fins, the meaning muft be, that his death was intended 
by God tv> be, and really was of that value and efficacy, fufTici- 
ent to atone for fin, and reilore peace between God and men, 
and that upon the molt folid and hrm hafis. You kn^w Oneft-, what name was appropriated to the Ark, it was call'd the 
mercy -feat, or propitiatory; becaufe it was there God promised 
to !>e propitious to Iris people: And when the High Priefl made 
atonement lot hiinfelf, and for all the congregation, it was by 
iVrinkiing the blood of the fin-offering before the mercy-feat, or 
propitiatory. When therefore, the Apoflle faith that God hath 
ivc forth Chrifl to be a propitiation, or mercy feat to us, have 
we not all the reafon in the world to believe that he was our fin- 
offering ? 

|{ Homer informs u«, rhat the Athenian young men appeas'd, or ren- 
der d propitious the go<l<iefs. by facrificing Bulls and Lambs. — The he- 
brew word in Kal y fignifies to cover ; in Pihel y to placate, and render 
propitious, when God pardons fin, he covers it, and in his mercy hide- it 
from his fight; cafts it into the depths of the fe^, &c. Thefe figura- 
tive phrafes convey this comfortable idea to us, that God will never 
call to an account a believer in Jefus, for his tranfgreffions. 4t There is 
no more condemnation to them who are in Chrifl Jefus." 

Let. 3. ( 81 ) 

offering? Is it not his blood that makes an atonement for our 
fouls, and renders God propitious ? Under the Old Teftament, 
fuch as were folicitous to have God propitious to them, were to 
come with the blood of their fin-ofTcrin^ to the mercy-feat : So 
under the go pel difpenfation, we muft expect to find God pro- 
pitious to us, only through the blood of Je r us, our mercy-feat. 

Before I feal up mv epiflle, permit me to give yov an account 
of a converfation which pa r s'd between your friend and Superbur. 
After I had read over, (at his defire) what I had writren to you ; 
and paufing a few moments he addre's'd me after the following 
manner. " Pbihmom, I never entertain'd fuch an opinion of 
" the death cf Jefus as you hold forth. I ftill heliev'd that his 
M death, in its utmeft extent, never reach'd higher, nor was 
%i ever intended for any other pujrpofe and defign, than meetly 
<( for our good: That it was a real propitiatory facrifice 1 never 
*' once dreamed; that, to lave the world by his doctrine and 
*' example, was the principal defign for which the Father lent 
" him into the world; that his being {riled the Mediator, im- 
*f ported no more than this, an interpreter rf the divine will, a 
M rtvealer of the fecret purpofes of the Almighty; and that this 
t( was one principal end and defign of his miflStOfi into this world ; 
" and that believing the doctrines which he taught, and follow- 
" ing the example which he let, en r ures falvation, without any 
" reference to his death, as a prop' 'tint cry and 'vicarious facrifice. 
" If your doctrine be true what can the beloved Apoftle mean 
M when he thus fpeaks; I John iii. 16. Hereby perceive we 
" the love of God, hecaufe he laid clown his life for us; and we 
" ou ht to lay down our lives for the brethren. Now Philemon, 
<( would it be wrong logic, to argue from the end and defign of 
" our laying down our lives for the brethren, (if providence 
" calPd to it) and the end for which Chrift died for finners ? 
<( Are not thefe two things immediately connected together by 
" the Apoftle ? Now who can be fo fcol fh, as to imagine, that 
" one man's death could atone for the finof another, or pur- 
" chafe peace and pardon ?" 

Superlus, there cannot poflibly be worfe reasoning than to ar- 
gue from the end and defign of our laving down our lives for the 
brethren, to the end and defign of Chrift's dying for us; as if 
God had no higher end and defign in view, when he deliverM 
up his own eternal, and only begotten Son to the excruciating 
death of the crofs, than that for which, when providence calib us 
to it, we are to lay down our lives for the brethren. If it was to 
ifTue in the glory of God, or fave our brother from danger, we 
are bound by the law of religion and love to lay down our life 
for him : But as you juftly obferved we cannot by cur death fr v e 

G his 

Let. 3. ( 82 ) 

his foul from deflrn&ion ; our blood cannot warn away his fins, 
nor appcafe an offended God. But if we do not wilfully pervert 
the meaning of the Holy Ghoft ipeaking in the Scriptures, we 
mufr. fee and acknowledge, that Jefus by his death procur'a, me- 
ritorioufly procur'd thefe invaluable bleilings. Hear the fenti- 
ments of the royal Pfalmiil: on this head: Pfal. xlix. 8. None 
of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God 
a fufheient ranfom for him. But what one brother cannot do for 
another, Chrifr. certainly did for all his brethren. Did he not 
" give himfclf a ranfom for all ?" In him we have redemption. 
If you reply, that the Plalmift's intention here, is only to con- 
vince us that no man can redeem his brother from the power of 
death, and the dominion of the grave. Granting this to be the 
genuine meaning of the text : Will you not allow me to draw 
this inference, that if a man cannot fave his brother from death, 
far lefs from hell. But take notice, what the Pialmiff further 
adds, v. 9. The redemption of the foul is precious, and it would 
have ceafed for ever. Yes Superbus, for all that either men, or 
Angels could have done, or fuffer'd, utter deftru&ion would have 
been the lot of the whole human race. It is indeed impoflible to 
conceive, that the death and fufferings of a Creature, although of 
mod noble extraction, can redeem an immortal fpirit from 
death and deftru&ion. But my friend, doth not the death of Jefus 
accomplifh this ? " Much more being juitified by his blood, we 
fhali be faved from wrath through him." You mud: obferve 
Superbus, that the text you juft now quoted, is introdue'd by the 
Apoftle to inculcate the exercife of brotherly love; and that, if 
in providence we are called to it, we are to carry our affection 
and efteem fo high as to facriflce our own life for the welfare and 
fafety of our brethren; but by no means with this view to merit 
pardon and eternal life. We cannot fuppofe, that a mail direct- 
ed by the fpirit of wifdom and revelation, would be guilty of 
inch 3 palpable felf contradiction, as you by your objection would 
palm upon him. Doth he not in the mod: explicit terms, and the 
mod unequivocal manner inform us, •* that the blood of Jefus' 
Chnft clean feth from all fins ?" This much, neither he, nor any 
one eife could ever fay of any, but Jefus alone. . 

Y< u hinted a little ago, that you never entertained any other 
idea oi jefus under the peculiar dehgnation of Mediator, than as 
an vit:rhuncius, or interpreter of the divine will. To give all 
polli' :' .isfadion on this head, (befides what was hinted at al- 
leadv) let me put you in mind, that Jefus as Mediator was in- 
veiled with the threefold oihee of prophet, • rieft, and king; 
and in this his mediatorial character, he may be conf.der'd ac- 
compli ihing great and important defigns. There was an abfo- 


Let. 3. ( S 3 ) 

lure neceflity for the Mediator to he inverted with, and execute this 
threefold office, in order to the completion of man's redemption. — 
To juftify us before God, by remitting the guilt of our fin. — By 
fan&ifying our natures, and cleanfmg us from the filth and pollu- 
tion of fin. — By introducing us into the way of hoiinefs, and pre- 
ferring us in it untii we obta ; n the end of our faith, the falvation 
of our fouls. The firft great benefit, we obtain by him as a Prieft ; 
who fatisficd divine juftice ih our room and ftead. HeS. vii. 22. 
The fecond, we receive from him as our King, who *s the head of 
all influences to the Church, and every individual believer. Eph. 
i. 22, 23- In a word, as our Prophet he directs, and prelides 
over his people; he is their leader and commander. There is 
infinite merit in him as a Prieft; divine eiRcacv as a King; and 
from him as a Prophet we receive heavenly inftruction and an 

holy example. You feem to reltrift the death of Je ( us to one 

particular ehd; but if you carefully confult divine revelation on 
this head, you will find that Chrift died for a threefold end and 

purpofe. To fatisfy divine juftice, to put an end to fin, and 

hiing in an everialiing righteoufnefs. 'See how particularly the 
prophet Daniel fpecihes thele great ends of his death. Dan. ix. 
24. To finifh tranfgrerlion, to make an end of (in, and to make 
reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in an everlafting righ- 
teoulnefc. — 1 — Again, he died to proc ure and purchafe, a vent and 
egrefs for the Holy Ghoft into the hearts of all believers ; for the 
purgation of inherent corruption, and making them meet to be 
partakers of the inheritance of the Saints in light; to raife in 
them an habitual deteftation to fin, and a love for the practice or 
all manner of godlinefs, in heart and life. Seeing, (fays the 
Apoftie Peter) ye have purified your fouls, in obeying the truth, 
through the Spirit. || Hence the third perlon in the glorious Tri- 
nity is oftentimes called the Holy Spirit, and the Spirit of hoiinefs, 
not only becauie he is eiTentially holy, but for this reafon alfo, 
becauie he is that divine a^ent which implants this heavenly dif- 
pofition in the hearts of all believers; which (hows itfclf in their 
life and practice.— ^—FinaUy his death is exemplary; he hath by 
dying fet a moft eminent and an iliuftrious example before us, 
of love, patience, humility, obedience, and other chriftian graces 
which tend to promote and perfect frn&ifieation and holinels in 
his people. 1 Pe. ii. tit. For even hereunto were ye ca'- 
lcd, becaufe Ghrift alfo fuffered for us, leaving us an example 
that wc ftiould follow his fteps. ' "Do you not fee, Superbus, 
and are you not fully convine'd, that the death of Jefus hath ac- 
tually aceornplifhed thefe three great and important ends? If y. u 
want to entertain a fcriptural idea ot the ehd asddefign of ChruVs 

II 1 Pet. ii. 22. 

G 2 

Let. 3. ( 84 ) 

death, you mult take all thefe into the account. His death was 
a proper and real iatisfaction for our offences, and fo the object 
of our faith; it is efficacious for the purgation of our inherent^ 
corruptions, through the Holy Ghoft, and fo, the object of our 
hope; it was exemplary, and fo worthy of our imitation: It is 
the foundation of our juftification ; the root and principle of our 
fanctitication; an incitement to a holy refignation to the will of 
Heaven in afflicting circumftances. In the matter of our jufti- 
fication by his blood, and fanctification by his Spirit, our Lord 
Jefus (lands unrivalled: No man, yea, no Creature, ever the 
Almighty formed, could have contributed in the fmalleft degree 
to the purchafe of thefe invaluable benefits, he (lands here in 
the eye of faith, fingle and alone. For what he has done in this 
refpect he is to be ador'd, not to be imitated. But on the other 
hand as dying to fet us an example, he conies to be the object of 
our imitation. " We are predeftinated to be conformed to the 
image of his Son," as well in fuffering, as in glory ; in fanctity, 
as well as in felicity. 

Onefimus, my friend Superbus feem'd to be a little cmbarrafs'd 
from what I had juft now obferved: But recovering himfelfa 
little, he addrefTed me in the following terms. " Philemon, I be- 
" gin to fee my mi (lake, I freely acknowledge my error. I be- 
" gin to entertain other views of the Redeemer, than ever I had. 
" I lament my remifsnefs in not fearching more carefully, and 
'* attending more needfully, to what Mofes, the Prophets, and 
*' Apoftles have written concerning the Mediator as to his per- 
'■' fon ; and his death as to its peculiar ends and dengns : My 
*' belief hitherto has not been properly my own : I have in too 
" many inftances, feen only with the eyes of my teachers: To 
" them I have too much refign'd my judgment in matters of the 
" great eft importance that ever concerned mankind. There is 
st no myftery in trade, but what 1 have endeavoured to unrid- 
" die; I never could be perfwaded to truft to any man in thofe 
" matters in which my purfe was concerned. What a roolifh 
*A part have I acted, in trufting fo much to others in thofe 
" things, in which my confcicnce was fo deeply interefted; in 
" thofe things, in which my eternal happinefs was concerned. 
" I I iiifh, I am afham'd ot my conduct: But 1 hope thiough the 
*i divir.e blefling, yet to be recovered, and brought to the know- 
t( ledge of the truth, as it is in Jefus. I am (truck with afto- 
" nilhr ent at the condefcending grace, and ineffable love of 
V* the Mediator, who, to fave us, was gracioufly pleafed to ftep 
" in between the coniuming wrath of an angry God, and the 
" dry ftubble;' who appeared in our nature, as our Goel, our 
" Kinfrnaii Redeemer; that redcem'd the mortgaged inheri- 

" tance, 

Let. 3. ( 85 ) 

" tance, by becoming bone of our bone, and flefh of our flefii; 
" who triumphed over all our enemies in his crofs ; and who 
" hath as out propitiation reconcil'd us to God by his blood ; and 
" thiough whom, as our mercy-feat we will find God merciful 
" and gracious, forgiving iniquity, tranfgreflion and fin. In 

" the mean time, Philemon, I beg as a fpeci a 1 favour, that you 
" will not remit of your afiiduity and diligence, in inflru&ing 
" me more and more in the myftery of Chrift." So faying, he 
arofe and went home; and accordingly, I clofe my epiftle: But 
not without wifhing that my dear Onefunus may increafe more 
and more, in the love, and knowled e of our Lord Jefus Chrift. 
Believe me, to be mod fincerely your's, &c. 



Dear Onefimus, 

f AST week, in my journey to the Capital, I paid a vin*t to 
" your friend Gaius: But to my aftonifhment, found the whole 
family in tears. I could not poflibly comprehend the reafon. I, 
at firft imagined that fome breach had taken place among them 
by death. But carting my eye around, I perceiv'd this was not 
the cafe. I could not poflibly divine, what difaftrous event had 
btrallen that generous, and good family, to drown them in fuch 
poiornant grief. I at length made bold to enquire, what could 
poifibly have reduc'd them to that melancholy fituation r Gaius, 
in broken accents ot grief and vexation, gave a brier recital of 
his misfortunes, in the following manner. 

f< My dear Philemon* in what language can I exprefs the dif- 
" mat tale of this day ! My brother Crifpus, to whom our pater- 
" nal eftate teH, (lie being the elded) Squandered away his 
" fubftance; and in « rder to fupporr his luxury, at length fold 
'* the eftate ; and after all run deep in debt. His lufl for 
" gambling had no bounds ; this led him into all the vices that 
*.* generally attend this infamous, and unmanly exercifc. This 
" was carried on by my brother, until his money and ellate 
" were quite exhaufted, and he fo deep in arrears, that he was 
" feiz'd by his creditors, and caft into jail : There he had time 


Let. 4. ( 86 ) 

to think on his infamous and prodigal life. Here he lay (lung 
with remorfc, and torn with a rhoufand reproaches from a 
guilty accufing confeience. O that prodigal licentious Tin- 
ners would take warning at the expence of my poor brother 1 
Confeience fooneror later, will make finners feel its awful lafki. 
Now Philemon, what could I do ? Both nature and religion 
pled for the prodigal. Not to have liftened to the voice of the 
former, would have 3rgued inhumanity; n^t to ha i; e yieicicd 
to the dictates of the latter would have argued a diiconformity 
to him, who is good to the unthankful and evil. I yielded 
to both : But before I took any ftep to releafe my brother by 
paying his debts, I expoftulated with him with regard to his 
fin and folly : He feem'd to be fenfiMe of both, and to repent 
of both. I thought I had gained my brother, not only from 
the paths of vice, but to the love, and practice of virtue. In 
the mean time, his debt was fo great, that I could not pay 
the full fum without endangering my own intereft: I was 
therefore obliged- to borrow from your friend Sojlhenes, for 
which I gave him my bond. Accordingly my brother was 
releas'd : But then what could he do, in order to provide for a 
rifing family ? I was therefore under the neceflky of fetting 
him up in the mercantile line. But through ignorance of 
his bufinefc, and a ftrong defire to live in the fame fplendid 
rank in which he appeared in the days of his profperity, he 
in a fhort time turned bankrupt. My forrows now began te 
multiply. The term agreed on to pay Sojtbenes was elapfed ; 
and in the mean time, the melancholy news arrived, that the 
fhip which I had lately fitted out for the Weft-Indies was loft, 
and all on board perilhed ; and here, almoft my all, with re- 
gard to my worldly fubflance alio perilhed. This is the reafon 
Philemon, of thefe tears which bedew our cheeks, of that me- 
lancholy, which fits fo deep on our countenances." 
Here Onefimus he ftopt ; and to tell you the truth, I was very 

glad. I felt moll (inceiely for my worthy friend 'Before this 

dii'after, no man could be more refpeded than Gains: Every one 
ftriving to court his friendihip, and ftand unrival'd in his affecti- 
on. One would have imagined, that confidering the footing he 
flood on in the days of his profperity, that although he had been 
ftrip'd as bare as job, yet he never would have been in danger 
of want, nor felt the lofs of a friend. But alas ! along with his 
fubftance, his friends fled. Few left to confole him in his me- 
lancholy fituation, or ftretch forth the hand for his relief. This 
naturally led me to repeat the words of the Poet. 

Donee eris felix multos numerabis amicos, 
tempora fi fuerunt nubila, folus eris. 


Let. 4. ( 87 ) 

True friendfhip is of a too heavenly extra&ion to lod^e in the 
bread of every one. " A friend in need, is a friend indeed. 
The pious, the generous Gaius told me, that he had none to 
trufl to in this day of dittrefs, but that " friend that fticketh 
cloier than a brother." Fallacious and deceitful friends may 
fawn on us when Heaven Imiles; but let providence frown, and 
they hide their heads. Let us my dear Onefimus purfue after an 
intercft in the Lord Jefus Chriir, and then on his arm we may 
trufr; his faithfulnefs will be our fhield and buckler. His bow- 
els ofcompaifion are never fhuf ; when he unites, he loves, 2s 
well as when he fmiles. His fevered corrections are but eviden- 
ces of the greatnefs of his affection. See that inimitable, and at 
the fame time, every way comfortable defcription of the Almigh- 
ty's care and concern towards his ancient Ilrael. Deut. xxxn. 
16. He found him in a dekrt land, and in a wafte and howling 
wiidernefs; he led him about, he inftructed him, he kept him as 
the apple of his eye. As an eagle ftirreth up her neit, flut- 
tered over her young, ipreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, 
beareth them upon her wings, lb the Lord alone did lead them. 
What comfort is wrapt up in thefe figurative phrafes to a diftreffed 
chriftian. Your pious mind, and your former experience of the 
Lord's kindnefs to you, will fuperfede any comment which I 
might make on thefe words. How copious and full is the Holy 
Ghofl in deciphering the divine benignity, and unparallel'd care 
which the Almighty exercifes about his people, about all his peo- 
ple, in all a^cs, places, and circumirances. How diverfihed 
the expreflions, to anfwer the variegated conditions of all Saints. 
Gaius is happy in the God of Ilrael. If his deareft, and moft in- 
timate connexions turn their back on him, and forfake him, 
the God of Jefhurun will never prove perfidious. 

I leave this mournful fcene, with a heart full of grief: I feel 
for their lofs, yet I am glad they have an intereft in fomething 
more folid and durable; fomething which neither winds, n^r 
feas, moth, nor ruff., thieves, nor robbers, can deprive them of. 
I overheard my friend Gaius jufl as I was leaving him repeat 
thefe words; " though my heart and my fleih faint and fail, 

yet God will fail me never." The Lord giveth, and the Lord 

taketh away, Me*.!. I be the name of the Lord. — You fee Onefi- 
mus, the fupport and aid which religion affords in times of the 
greatefl diuiefs. ** The Lord will not leave his people, nor 
quit his own inheritance." 

You defire me in yours to be forr.ewhat more explicit, refpeft- 
ing the fuhjecf. of Ch rift's fubftitution in our room : For as you 
iuftly obferve, if Jefus was our fuhftitute, our fins behoved to be 
wharged to his account, and his obedience, and fufferings, (which 


Let. 4. ( 88 ) 

conftitute his righteoufn-fs) to all interns and purpofes, account- 
ed the believer's, as if he had perfonally obeyed and differed. 
There is fcarcely an article in divine revelation more plainly 
taught, and oftner inculcated, than the doctrine of ChnfFs vica- 
rious obedience and fufferirtgs. -j- The jull furTered/or, (or in the 
room of) the unjuft, that we might be brought to God." [ may 
here obferve, that all the propitiatory facrifices which obtain'd 
amon^ the Heathens, were always confidered as vicarious || You 
muir. here take notice, that this is the lifual and moft: frequent 
acceptation of the particle for: — When Abraham the father of 
the faithful, was ordered by God, to execute one of the moft: 
painful tafks that ever was enjoin'don any fond parent ; to offer 
up in facrifice his Son, his only Son, the Son cf the promife : 
Juft as he was about to dart the facrificing knife into the heart of 
the intended victim, he lifted up his eyes and beheld a ram caught 
in the thicket, which he offer'd up for, or in the room of his Son 
Ifaac. Obfeive Onefimus, Paul's language in writing to the Co- 
rinthians; I Cor. i. 13. Was Paul crucified for you, or in 
your Jiead? There is more underftood than is exprefs'd in this 
phrafe : By this manner of fpeech he certainly had this in his 

view ; 
f fee Rom. viii. 32. Math. xx. 28. 

II We have a remarkable inftance of this in theFafti. of Ovid : Cer- 
tam birds which fed upon the fleih of children, and fuck'd their blood, 
were coming dov/n upon the voung Procas, and juft feizing on their 
prey; the Nymph Crane immediately facrifie'd a pig, and holding in 
her hands the entrails of that victim, faid : 

Noftis aves extis puerilibus,- > 

parcete, pro parvo vidtima parve cadit. 
Cor pro corde, pro fibris fumite fibras, 
banc anlmam vohfs pro ineliore damus. 

i. e. Ye birds of night, fpare the bowels of the child. We fubftitute a 
tender victim in hU fte^d. Accept the heart, and the reft of the en- 
rr.iik, for ihofe of the boy ; we offer yon one life in lieu of a better. 
Ovid. Fait', lib. 6, <l>. i S9- & c - 

It was a ufual cuftotn among the Maflillenians, that when any difmal 
calamity rhreaten'd them, fuch as the peftilence, war, &c. they chofe 
one from among the poorer fort of the people, and offer'd him up for 
the whole. The victim was fed for a whole year at the public ex- 
penfe, with the fineft and pureft food. Then they adorn'd him with 
vervain leaves, and cloth'd hiin with facred veftments, and led him 
round the city; at the fame time, pronouncing the moft dreadful exe- 
cutions on him ; that all the evil, they had been guilty of, might fall 
on him : Afterwards they offer'd him up in facrifice in the room and 
place of the whole. vide Outram. de Sacrif. pag. 261. 

Let. 4. ( 89 ) 

view ; to convey to thefe Corinthians this very important truth, 
that Jekis Chrift the Lord, died for them, or in their fiead The 
facrifices which were offer'd up under the O'd Teflaraent difpen- 
fation, whether for. particular perion^, or for the whole congre ra- 
tion, were always fuppos'd to be fubftituted in the room of the 
offerer, or offerers. It would require a good deal of the mod un- 
happy ingenuity, to explain thefe foregoing phrafes to any other 
mcanmg, than to point out the fubftitution of one perfon in the 
room of another IT this then he granted, (which I think can- 
not well be refufed,) that Chrift's death was vicarious, it will 
neceffarily follow, that our (ins were laid on him for their expi- 
ation ; confequentfy his death was a propitiatory, as well as a 
vicarious facrifice. || 

Amoncr the many places in holy writ where the vicarious na- 
ture of Chrift's death is clearly taught us, I fhail fe!e6r. the two 
following; Gal. iii. 13. 2 Corinth, v. 21. By looking in- 
to your Bible, you will find the firft of thefe reads thus; Chrift 
was made acurfe for us, for it is written, curfed is every one that 
hangeth on a tree.' You mud obferve, that thefe words are 


11 It was a common thing in Egypt, when any direful calamity 
threaten'd that nation, to offer a vicarious facrifice to their Gods ; and 
putting their hands on the head of the V'&im, they us'd this form of im- 
precation. " If any evil be to befall Egypt in general, or any of the 
*' inhabitants in particular, let it come upon the head of this victim. " 
From whence arofe the cuftom of not eating the head of any animal in 
Egypt. According to Plutarch, they eitheT threw it into the river, or 

gave it to ftrangers — The fame cuftom was very prevalent in many 

places in Greece ; and what was very remarkable, he that offer d up 
the victim was looked upon as unclean, fo that he was not permitted ei- 
ther to enter the citv, or his own houfe, until he had waihed himfelf in 
water. Perhaps, the Heathens might have borrowed this from the Jew- 
ifli ritual: It was particularly enjoin'd on him that carried away the 
Scape-goat ; that burned the fin-offering without the camp, that they 
ihould not enter into th^ camp untii they had wailied their clothes. 
Did not this evidently point out, that as fm is of a defiling nature, thefe 
perfons who were employed either in carrying away the Scape-goat, or 
burning the fin-offering without the camp were in a certain fenfe pol- 
luted ? Doth not this naturally lead us to conclude, that it was the fix'd 
opinion of the Jews that their fins v/ere transferred from them to the fa- 
crifice ; or how could they imagine that thefe perfons were unclean ? 
When a propitiatory facrifice was offer'd up among the Jews, they ufed 

a certain folemn deprecation confifting of thefe phrafes. " 1 befeech 

" thee O Lord, I have finn'd, I have been rebellious, I have done per- 
" verfelvj this and this have I been guilty, of; now I repent that I 
" have finn'd : Let this be my expiation.'" Looking upon the victim 
thoCe words were added: " Whatfoever ihould juitly fall on my head^ 
u let it fall on the head of my facrifice. Outram. de Sacrifi. p^g. t6o. 

Let. 4. ( 90 ) 

here introduced by the Apoftle to prove the doctrine of jutlificati- 
on by faith without the works of the law. And by artentively 
confidering this vcrfe a little we will find, that it not only tends 
to elucidate and confirm the point that the Apoillc is here prov- 
ing, but emphatically explains and illuftrates the glorious fcheme 
of man's redemption through our Lord Jefus. It contains theie 
three things : Our redemption by Chrift; from what we are re- 
deemed, from the curfe of the law: We have alfo the manner 
how this glorious blefling is achiev'd, viz. by Chrift's bein£ made 
a curfe for us. Upon the firft of thefe 1 have already given yon 
my fentiments. I told you that our redemption confifts, in the 
paying down of a price for us, and that that price was the blood of 
Jefus; or that fatis faction, which he gave to the juftice of God 
by the offering up of his holy human nature in facrifice for us, 
or in our ftead. And here you may remember, that it was con- 
fider'd as real and proper, not figurative and metaphorical , as 
Socinians maintain. The Spirit of God here informs us, from 
what we are redeem'd ; (< from the curfe of the law." Under 
this curfe the whole human fpecies are concluded, who have not 
by faith fled for refuge to the hope fet before them : This the 
Apoftle teaches, v. 10. For as many as are of the works of the 
law, are under the curfe. i. e. as many as feek, or expect 
juftification and eternal life, by the merit of their own good 
works. There never was that moral perfection in any work of 
the creature adequate to the extenfive demands of the law, con- 
fequently, can never be the bafis of a finner's juftification in the 
fight of God: Therefore to feek juitification, pardon and accep- 
tance for, or upon the account of any work ot ours, is, accor- 
ding to the Apoitie's reaioning, an irrefragable evidence that we 
are under the cur'e. ** For as many as are of the works of the 
law, are under the curfe. " 

The law's curfe may be considered two ways; either actively, 
or parlively. Actively confidered, it confifts in the law's len- 
tence, or, rather the fentence bf the great Judge, condemning 
£he law tranigreflfor. Paflively confidered, it coniiits in the ac- 
tual infljCtmg of all that punifhment, whether fpiritual, corpo- 
ral, temporal, or eternal, which is contain'd in the law thteat- 
ning; co;i fitting in the punifhment both o( lois, and fenfe ; a 
deprivation of ail good, and an infliction of all that is evil, and 
tormenting both in foul and body, in hell-fire (or ever. What 
a dreadful cafe to be under the law's malediction ! But this is the 
cafe of all, of all without exception, whether profefibrs or pro- 
fane, " whom the $on of God hath not made free.' , How uni- 
yerfal is the law's curfe ! It hath feiz'd the whole human race; 
it would have purlued the whole to eternity in the lowefl hell, 


Let. 4. ( 9* ) 

if it had not been for the interpohtion of Jefus, "who out oF di- 
vine condefcenfion, and unmerited affection took the curfe up- 
on himfelf. " Chrift was made h ante for us." This awful 
curfe of the law, ieizes the fmncrs body, his foul, his eftate: 
(< Curfed fh ik thou be in thy baiket, and in thy {lore ; in the 
city, and in the field." &c Who would not moft ardently with 
for an emancipation from this awful ftate ? Nothing certainly, 
but the deepeli and mod fatal fecunty; the ftrongeft temptations 
of Satan ; the mod infamous love to fin ; or a vain presumptu- 
ous hope of mercy, can rcftrain any, yea every one, from crying 
out, 4< what muft I do to be faved." This verfe points out the 
very way 0/ falvation ; fhuts us up to the faith, and at the fame 
time effe&ua'ly bars the door on all creature merit, or the fup- 
pofed goodnefs of our own hearts, or the exa£t regularity of our 
own moral conduct, as the ground and foundation of our juftifl- 
cation, and freedom from the law's curie, it mows us plainly, 
that although God be merciful and gracious, we are not redeem'd 
by a mere a6t of abfolute mercy or grace, without a fatisfaction, 
and that adequate to the mod extenfive demands of the law, and 
the utmoft claim of divine juitice. 

Permit me now Onefimus, to enquire more particularly, how 
we come to be delivered from the law's curfe ? The Apoftle re- 
folves this query. M Chrift was made a curfe for us." He un- 
derwent all thofe fufferings, bore all that wrath, contained in the 
fentence of the law againft finful men. Do you a(k, how can it 
be poiiiole, or once fuppofed, that the beloved, and only begotten 
Son of God, the author of all good, the origin and fpring of all 
bleffednefs could be made a curfe ? This phrafe leemed fo harm to 
fomc, trnr in order to foften it, and make it run more fmoothly, 
they added the particle cs, Chiift was made as a curfe for us. 
But we have no reafon either to diminiih, or add to the words of 
the Holy Ghoft on this, or any other fubje6t. Upon the truth 
*ot this phraie depends our falvation. 'ihis is the foundation of 
our faith ; the fupport of our hope ; the ground of our gloriation. 
Thefe are the glorious truths contain'd here, that the great and 
Almighty God pour'd out the vials of his wrath to the uttermoft 
upon the Mediator, that we might efcape that horrible tempeft, 
that he made him a curie, that we might be crown'd with all the 
bleflings of his covenant, and purchafe ; blels'd in the immediate 
vifion, and fruition of God in the celeftial ftate ; that he for a 
time forfook him, that we might be brought under the patronage 
and protection of Heaven for ever. More particularly, our Re- 
deemer istobeconfidered in a twofold view; as the Son of God, 
his dear, only, and beloved Son, whom he lov'd eternally, with- 
out variation or change. He ib to be considered again, as our 


Let. 4. ( 92 ) 

furety and Mediator; as (landing; in our ror>m clothed in our hu- 
man nature, and numbered with tranlgreflfors As our furety 
he was made fin, and a curie for us; and although hearing the 
wrath of God, and the curfe of the law in our (lead, he, in that 
very inftant, flood as high in the favour of his Eternal Father as 
ever; for if he had by being made a curfe for us, loft the divine 
favour, he never could have been the author of eternal falvation 
to all that believe. It derogates nothing from the glory of our 
Mediator, that he, being without fin, was made fin, and a curfe, 
to liberate and redeem us from both. 

Do you afk, how is it certain that he was made a curfe ? The 
infpired penman anfwers this query, and expounds this riddle. 
M For it is written, curfed is every one that hangeth on a tree." 
Thefe words you will find cited from Deut. xxi. 23. where we 
find, that hanging on a tree is pronounced by God himfelf to 
be an accurfed death. Do you enquire, how the Apoftle could 
accommodate this fentence to the death of Jefus, fince his death 
was not properly hanging on a tree, but nailing to a tree, made 
in the form of a crofs, hence call'd crucifixion ? I anfwer, that 
the Apoftle might with the greateft propriety accommodate, and 
apply this fentence to crucifixion, although primarly intended 
againft thofe who were guilty of fuch crimes as laid them obnox- 
ious to be hanged on a tree, for this reafon : The genus you know 
includes every thing of the fame kind, fo that nothing can be 
affirmed of the genus, but what may be applied to the fpecies; 
or, whatever is predicated of the former, may be alfo predicated of 
the latter: If therefore hanging on a tree was pronounced an ac- 
curfed death, why not crucifixion, which is a kind of fu r penfion, 
or hanging. Do you afk again, why a curfe was annexed to 
this kind of death ? Why was there fuch a mark of infamy af- 
fixed to this fpecies of punifhment, and n°t to burning or lapi- 
dation.[|&c. The death of thecrofs, was a vile and detcftable death, 


(I There were four kinds of punimments for capita! crimes which 
took place among die Jews ; Lapidation or ftoning, burning, behe?id- 
ing, and iTxangling. There was no fuch a thing as putting any to 
death by crucifixion, until they became fubject to the Roman Empire. 
And it is very obfervable, that there is no word expreffive of this kind 

of punifhment in the ancient Hebrew language. The Jews thought 

that there was no kind of death which afforded a more awful fpecli- 
cle, nor fo bafe in its nature, as hanging on a tree. Therefore they 
imagin'd that a curfe was annex'd to it to deter men from fuch flagiti- 
ous crimes, as rendered them obnoxious to fuch a deteftable fort of pu- 
nifhment. It was a common proverb among them, 4< that the hanging 
a man on a tree is the vilification of God." Whoever therefore deferv'd 


Let. 4. ( 93 ) 

both in its own nature, and by the law threatningr. There were 
three things which render'd it odious and deteftable in its nature; 
its pain, infamy and duration. By the law it was an accurfed 
deteltable death, not abfolutely confider'd, fo that there was no 
mercy for fuch as underwent this fort of punifhment : The con- 
trary of this is evident, from the cafe of the thief on thecrofs: 
Neither in the fi§ht of God was this fpecies of punifhment any 
more accurfed than another; for as it is not the punifhment, but 
the caufe that conftitutes the Martyr, fo fimply hanging on a 
tree, renders no man more accurfed than dying in his bed, if it 
was not owing to the crime which brings him to this untimely- 
end. 1 apprehend Onefimus, that an omnifcient an 1 ail-wife 

God annex'd a curfe to this fort of death with a particular view 
to that death the future Mefliah was to fuffcron Calvary's mount.' 
O fuch amazing condelcenfion ! Ineffable love indeed ! Behold 
the Lord of sjory, he, " who was in the form of God, and who 
thought it no robbery to be equal with God," appearing among 
men, " in the form of a fervant," and becoming obedient un- 
to death, even the death, the accurfed death of the croft.. " Curf- 
ed is every one, (is the fentence of the Jewifh legiflator) th2t 


this punifhment, were deemed by them the molt execrable of all wretch- 
es. And lelt, either the earth, or air mould be contaminated by fuch 
vile men, they were commanded to take them down, and bury them 
the fame day: And if they were not dead at a certain period, 
they either broke their legs, or by fome other mean accelerated 
their d;fTo!ution. As hanging among the Jews was reck- 

oned by them a vile and dereftable death, fo was a fulpenfion by cruci- 
fixion among the Romans, and never obtain'd among them, but upon 
malefactors, whofe crimes were of a very deep dye j and for the molt 
part only inflicted on their fhves; hence denominated, a flavifh puniih- 
ment; pone crucem fer<vo, (fays Juvenal.) The authors of feditioti or 
tumult, were evher crucify 'd, or thrown to wild beafts. If they were 
of note in the Irate, they wereexpo-M to Lyon , or Tygers. Pilate ordered 
Chrilt to be crucified, becaufe it was reprefented to him, that he affect- 
ed to be king It any of the Roman citizen : , or free-men were cruci- 
fied, th r y wee firft deprived of all the immunities of the Empire, and 
then delivered into the hands of their flive to be whip ed. Tiiu- 
dealt with the Saviour. — Among the Jews it was not every crime that 
render'd a man oonoxious to hanging on a tree ; but faeh as was of a 
public nature, end which might, in its confequences draw down the 
divine vengeance on the whole nation. Numb. xxv. 4. 2d San. xxi. 
6. And as this kind of death was accurfed by God, it wis luok'd upoa 
a? propitiatory, to placate an offended Deity, and turn away hib wrath. 
Hence, we find that as foon as the princes of the congregation were 
hang'd up before the Lord, the Lord turn'd from the riw-rcenels of h-s 
anger, vide Turrent de Satisf. 

Let. 4. ( 94 ) 

hangeth on a tree." " Chriit was made a curfe for us," fays 
the fame eternal truth. He fuffer'd for crimes, hut crimes not 
liis own ; hut fuch indeed as deferved the curie. He voluntari- 
ly undertook to bear our fins, this he could not do, without feel 
ins: '" the mod fenfible and awfii> manner, what the curfe of the 
surest Judge againfl: that abominable thing is. He bore that ac- 
cused thing) fin, in his own body on the tree. He fuffered the 
punifhment of that accurfed thing ; for u&i for you my dear One- 
fimus, for every believer in Jefus. Doth not the bhfs Which flows 
from that accurfed death daft a vail over its vilene's? Doth not 
your heart leap within you for joy, when you confider the ever 
hleffed Son of God, redeeming you fr^m the curfe oi the law, 
and in lieu of that, crowning you with all the blefiings which 
flow from his crofs, and fpring from his grave? And did the 
Mediator fuffer the accurfed death of theerofs merely as a Mar- 
tyr for the truth, or to propound an example to as lor our imi- 
tation ? Do you not exclaim, God forbid ? So exclaims your 
Philemon. While divine revelation allures us that Chrill was 
made a curfe for us, we may reft allured at the fame time, that 
through faith in his blood, the curfe of Gbd fhall never alight on 
our guilty heads. 

We find the fame infpired penman in his fecond epiftle to the 
Corinthians, chap. v. v. 21. confirming in the cleared man- 
ner, and in the mod unequivocal terms, the vicarious fubftituti- 
on of Jefus. For he hath made him to he fin for us, who knew 
no fin, that we might be made the righteoufnefs of God in him. 
Would you not imagine Owfimv.t, that in the very reading of 
thefe words the truth of Chrift's fubftitution in our room, and the 
tranflation of our guiit on him, would be the very firft idea that 
fhould ftrike the mind; and that any other could fcarcely prefenr 
itfelf. Every word here has its peculiar weight in tftabliftiing 
this important truth. l( He was made fin for us," fays the in- 
fpired penman implying that our fins were charged to his ac- 
count. But how could this poflibly take place, unlefs he had 
been our furety ? || Obferve the Apoftle's language in his epiftle 


II The term Jin in the old Teftament is frequently taken for the pu- 
nifhment of fin - and the viclim offer 'd for fin's expiation. *' My pu- 
nifhment, (fays Cain) is greater than I can bear." My fin, as in the 
original language, is greater' than I can bear, i. e. the punifhment 
for my fin. " If thou doeft not well, fin lieth at thy door," i. e. cer- 
tain and fudden deftrucVion awaits thee. Zech. xiv. 19. This /hall 

be the pnniihment. (Heb) the firt of Egypt, and of all rations, that 

come not up to keep the feaft of tabernacles. It foraetimes fignifies 

a piacular viclim, or an offeiing for fin: Thus it is oftentimes taken ?n 


Let. 4. C 95 ) 

to the Heb. chap. ix. 28. He, (viz.) Chrift, {hall appear the 
fecondtime without fin unto falvation He'fhall appear not on- 
ly free from every blot or (lain of finj this was true of our Lord 
when he appearM in the human nature, and that even when he 
was made fin : " He was holy, harmlefs, undenTd, and feparat- 
cd from finners." The meaning then certainly mud be, that he 
will appear at the laft day, without bearing our fins by imputati- 
on, as he bore them in the days of his incarnation, and taberna- 
cling among men. He will then appear, no more to be made 
fin, no more to fuffer for fin. His being made fin, neceffarily 
fubje&ed him to fufferimr ; and no reafon can poflibly be affign'd 
for his bearing the punifhment of our fins, but becauie he was 
made fin. His being made a fin-offering neceffarily prefuppofes 
his being made fin ; for where no fin isj either imputed, or in- 
herent, punifhment never can take place, fin and punifhment 
are neceffanlv and indiffolvably connected. O aftonifhing ccn- 
defeenfion ! Love paft finding out ! Chnit bearing our fins, as 
if they had been his own. And indeed his they were by his vo- 
luntary undertaking to be our furety, to pay both our debt of 
obedience and punifhment. || When ever we caft our eye on Cal- 
vary's mount, and behold the Lamb of God laid 011 the altar, 
fuffering and dying, this query naturally arifes in our mind; 
why, what evil hath he done, to inflame the wrath, and rouze 
the indignation of God in fuch a- manner, and to fuch a degree, 
as to burn up, and confume this facrihee ? What meaneth the 
heat of this great anger r Why the Lamb of God did no evil; 
no evil could the holy one of God polfibiy be guilty ci. Why 


the book of Leviticus.— — He mail fprmkle the blood of the/«, i. e. 
of the fin-offering, upon the fide of the altar. Levit. vii. 9. And the 
Priefts are faid to eat of the Jin of the people, i. e. of the facrinces 
offer'd for fin. Chrift was made a fin-offering for us, he bort- the pu- 
nifhment of our fins, that he might deliver both from the guilt and 
pollution of fin. 

il The fin-offering was fo holy, or devoted to bear God's indignation 
for fin j that none durft touch it, but he who was holv, trie garment 
rnuft be wafiYd on which any of the blood had been fprinkTd ; and the 
earthen veffel in which it was boii'd muft be broken ; and the feffraxeri 

pot fcour'd and rinfed; Levit. vi. 2~ ye: this devoted and curfed 

thing, loaded with the fins of the whole people, the Prieft muft ear, and 
turn it into his own flefli and blood, that he might bear their iniquirv. 
as it were incorporated in his own body. And thus it was I 
was made a curfe, and fin for us, and bore our iniquities : They were 
fo to fpeak, incorporated in him, made his own, and he boie them in 
his own body on the tree -, and fuffer'd for them a|kif thev had been c r 
hfc own contracting. 

Let. 4. ( 96 ) 

then was he madeafacrifice ? Why was he piminVd ? <f Pie vis 
made fin for us." But who made him fin? The Apoftle an- 
hvers the query, Go/; for he, viz God hath made him fin. 
When the infpired Apoflle of the Gentiles, in connection with 
the refi: of his fellow Apoftles, were executing the office of Am- 
baffadors in God's name, inviting, and pretfing finncrs to lav 
afide the weapons of their re! ellion, and he rccpncil'd to God ; 
they open up, and explain the foundation upon which they went 
in the execution of their office, viz. that there was redemption 
purchasM by Jefus for (inner , by the fpecial appointment of God ; 
and as this was a fufficient reafon for the Apoftles to preach the 
coclrine of reconciliation, lo it laid a mod firm foundation for 
them to give the obedience of faith to their embaify : As if the 
Apoftle had faid, ye need not, O ye Corinthians hefitate one 
moment, to claim the benefit of pardon and peace, when God 
the party offended is now reconciled by the death of his Son; 
there wad nothing that flood in the way but fin; we arc com- 
mifiion'd by our great Mailer to inform you, that that accurfed 
thing isremov'd, and in order to its removal, " God made him 
fin for us." Let Socinians Oneftmus, cajole themfelves in their 
Martyr Saviour ; let us rejoice in this that our Jefus was made 
fin, had our fins imputed to him, and in confequence oi" this im* 
putation was made a cur/e; fuffered all that punifhment which 
was the juft demerit of our offence. Let them fpurn at the doc- 
trine of a vicarious fufferer as they think proper, if the Scriptures 
are true, by a vicarious fufferer, eternal falvation is purchafed, 
tranfgreflion and fin finiined. " For he hath made him to be 
fin for us." || Here the Ajoftle takes particular notice of the fpe- 
cial appointment and ordination of God, constituting Jefus our 
furety ; and in confequence of this, laying our fins on him, and 
maktng his fpul, i. e. his holy human nature, a facrifice for 
rhcir expiation. 

further, to guarxi us againft the leaft apprehenfion that Jefus 
fuffcr'd for his own perfonal tranfgreflions, the infpired penman 


H The phrafe in the original language properly figrtifies to appoint 
and confticute. Math. iii. 14. John vi. 15. Acts iii. 36. There- 
fore let all the houfe of Ifrael afluredly know, that God hath made the 
fame jefus whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Chrift ; i. e. con- 
ftituted and appointed him Lord and Chrift. This has a reference to 
his Mediatorial ftate, not to his filiation or fonfiiip as the co-eternal Son 
of God. Having finifh'd our redemption on the crofs, the Eternal Fa- 
ther, in teftimony of his entire acquiefcence in what he had done, 
received him into glory, and made, i. e. conftirutcd and appointed him 
to be the head over all. God made him to be fin, constituted, and 
appointed him to -beer our fins in his own body on the crofs. 

Let. 4. C 97 ) 

emphatically adds, " who knew no fin." It is one thing to 
know fin, and another thin? to be made (in: To know fin, is 
to he rea'ly a (inner: To have fin inherent in the nature, a/id 
appearing in the practice. To be made fin, is to have fin Im- 
puted. Jefus, the holy one of God, knew no fin practically, or 
experimentally; there was no (lain or blot in his immaculate 
nature; as he knew no fin by an inhefion of it in his nature and 
conftitution, fo he knew none bv approbation. The phrafc to 
know, frequently in the Hebrew language fii^mfies to approve of 
a perfon, or thing. Jefus u is of purer eyes, than to look upon 
fin," or in the lean* degree, to approve of it in any one. He 
kept communion with finners, but he had no fellowfllip with their 
fins. He eat, he drank, he converfed with vile men, without 
contracting the leaft moral pollution. Sin may ' e confidered 
two ways; either in its filth and inward vitioftty ; or in its guilt 
and nunilhment. The former Chriil knew nothing of, " for 
he did no fin, neither was guile found in his mouth;" the latter 
he experimentally felt and knew ; for he took on him fin's guilt, 
and r ufTered its demerit: " For he was made fin, who knew no 
fin" That Jefus as our urety had our fins imputed to him, and 
their demerit exacted at his hand, will further appear, when we 
attentively confider the reafon hereafligned bv the Apoftle, why 
he was made fin, namely, i( that we might be made the nghte- 
oufnefs of God in him," i. e. that we might appear righteous in 
the fight of an infinitely holy God, not with an inherent, but 
with the imputed righteoufnefs of Jefus. We are ihut up here to 
fet our feal to this important article of our religion, that our juft:- 
fying righteoufnefs is no more inherent in ourielves, than fin was 
inherent in Chriil: We are made the righteoufnefs of God in 
Chrift, the very fame way that he was made fin, namely, by im- 
putation: The antithefis in this verfe (huts us up to th.s explica- 
tion and view of the words. It may be here ob r en-ed that we may 
befaid to be made righteous in a twofold fenfe — By the infufi- 
on of a principle of righteoufnefs and holinefs into our natures j 
this is done by the Holy Ghoit. in fan<9ification — ■ — Again we 
may be faid to be made righteous ^y the imputation of a righte- 
ou'nefs to us in j unification, and this fbnds oppofed to condemna- 
tion. Thefe two, although entirely diflind, yet ae infeparably 
conne&ed. Whom God I he righteous Judge juftifies, he alo anc- 
tifies. And as Chrift's being made fin, did not render him inhe- 
rently finful ; fo our being made the righteoufnefs of God in, by, 
or through him,confitls not, in mfufing a principle of holinefs in- 
to us, but by the imputation of a righteoufnefs to us. " Surely 
(hall one fay in Jtbovab have I righteoufnefs and ftrength." " In 
the Lord (hall ail the feed of Ifrad be juftified, and Hull glory" 

H We 

Let. 4. ( 98 ) 

IF we arc accepted with God as righteous, it is in Chrifr, by virtue 
of our relation to him, on account of our belonging to him, or in 
con fid-rat inn. of our being hi*, the people for whom he has under- 
taken. If Chrift then was our fubftitute and federal head, our 
guilt was legally imputed to him, and his righteoufnefs to us. 
The righteoufnefs here fpoken of, fiom what has been already 
obferved, is by no means the fame with godly fincerity : It is not 
fincere imperfect obedience to the gof pel, as accepted by a graci- 
ous God, in lieu of a perfect righreoufnefs : it is not an attri- 
bute of the divine nature; neither is it faith from which it is 
plainly diftinguifhed, Rom. i. 17. but the righteoufnefs of 
Chrift imputed to us, and received by faith alone. Here it is 
called the righteoufnefs of God; becaufe the obedience and Of- 
ferings of the lurety, (which conftitute this righteoufnefs) were 
the obedience and fufferings of Jcbovah in the human nature. 
It is a righteoufnefs, that God has appointed and ordained for the 
juiViftcation of all them who believe. It is a righteoufnefs which 
God accepts of, and is well pleafed with. " The Lord is well 
pleafed for his righteoufnefs fake." || 

Do you a(k Ontjimus, what are the conftituent and concurrent 
caufes of a Tinner's juftification before God ? I anfwer, (and in 
anfwci ng this I (hall conclude my letter) there are thefe three— 
G-'d's free grace ,— Gh nil's righteoumefs ; — and faith. Being 


II The explication of this verfe which Philemon has given above, ex- 
actly coincides with that which fome of the ancient Fathers put upon it, 
as taken notice of by Hebden, I mill cite them as they (land in that au- 
thor. — The writer of the epiftle to Diognetus y fays •' he, (viz. God) 
** gave his own So,n a ranfom for us, the Holy One for finners. — For 
" what could hide our fins but his righteoufnefs ? In whom was it pof-. 
11 fible for finners and ungodly to be juftified but in the Son of God ? 
" Ofiieet commutation ! — That the finfulnefs of many ihould be hid in 
** one righteous One, and the righteoufnefs of one, juftify many (in- 
" ners!" — Jerom. " Chrift being offered for our (ins, received the, 
" name oiftn, that we might be made the righteoufnefs of God in him ; 
" not our own, in ourfelves." — Augujlin, l< All who are juftified by 
*• Chrift are righteous, not in themfelves, but in him." Again, " the 
" Apolile having faid, we befeech you for Chrift, to be reconciled to 
" God, he immediately adds, He who knew no fin, &c. He does not 
" fay, as in fome faulty copies, he who knew no fin, made fin for us, 
** as though Chrift had finned' for us ; but he who knew no fin, God* 
u made fin for us, that we might be the righteoufnefs of God in him. 
" He therefore was fin, as we are righteoufnefs, not our own but 
" GodV, not in ourfelves, but in him; as he was fin, not his own, but 
" ours, not inhimfelf, but in us. Bernard quotes this pnflage of the 
" Apoftle with fuch an explication as this ; Thus we are the righte- 
*• oufnefs of Go J in him, as he wa$ fin for us, namely, by imputation." 

Let. 4. ( 99 ) 

juftified freely by His grace, throusrh the redemption that is in 

Chrift: Jefus. Rom. iii. 24- Beine; j 11 ft Tied ' y fairh, we 

have peace with God, through our Lord Jefus Chrift. Rom. v. 
I. Th'Te three, although entirely difrincr, yet mutually, and 
harmonionfly agree, and eftablifh each ether. Th.e procuring 
c^ufe '<s the ^ of Goa; the meritorious caufe, the redemption 
chat is in Chrift Jefus ; the inflrument.r cau r e, fa itn in Chrift's 
blood. Here is then juftirlcatftm by grace, through Chrift, and 
by faith. The grace of G^d ^y which we are juft-fied, is nor 
his grace in us as feme pretend, but his free favour or Iov 
kindnefs towards u:, which a variety o^ texts point at, a: 
fole fundamental cauTe of the our falvati'qh. Eph 

4, 5, 6. 2 Tim. i. 9. Titus iii. 5. Altnou h the Apoftle 
in the ftrenreft la'rtg'ua'ge p^ai'le, aftcrts and maintains free juf- 
tiflcafldn By the grace of G r -d, yet he adds, " through the re- 
demption that is in Chrift Jefus;" by which is meant either the 
om piid, or the a&' of pur Tnoqgh therefore we, arc 

juftified moft freely, 1. e. w.thout any the lea'ft wortKincfs on 
our part, and antecedent to an work done ' n y ii:, 

(Eph. if. 10.) it is neve'thelefs, through Chrift as the meritori- 
ous procuring caufe of it, fef worthlefs guilty creatures. r J he 
Socinian in the height of his will tell you, :hat as fatisfacTti- 
on and merit, obedience and pun'ftnnerit are incontinent ; fo is 
- grae^ofGod, and the redemption that is in Chrift Jefus, in 
the matter of a fmner's j unification before God: But a much 
more competent judie than any of that fraternity', has plainly 
discovered their confiftency, and mutual harmonv in a variety 
of text*. Eph. i. 7. Rom. iii. 25. chap. v. 15. 17. 21. 
chap. vi. 23. &c. j| Let thefe pretended mafters of reafon 
fay what they will, the retierhpticm o\ (:r bn& 

ment and fatisfaS::on of Jefus, and * et according to the iiches cf 
divine grace. Eternal life is a free gift, through. Jefus Chrift 
our Lord. If fin is abominable in itielf. and Infimtefy cbfpka- 
fing to God; if the holy one ci Ifne! wiltnot', cannot honoura- 
bly acquit h.s guilty creatures, but in confederation of an equiva- 
lent ranfom, or a fulfilment of the demands of law and juftice for 
them: And if.rather, than thefe guilty creatures fhouid rxnfn, 
through an inability to pay fuch a ranfom, and fatisty juftice by 
ariy obedience and fuffering of their own, he will fend bis own 


!l It is fomewhit ftrange, that a Socinian will find a greater cor,{iften» 
cy between the Bible, and Mahomet'.- Alcoran, than between the grace 
of God, and the righteoufnefs of Chrift, in a fitter's juilificaiion. If 
the reader can obtain the addrefs, or. .epiftle of the Unitarians to tbe 
Wtor'occo Ahinaflador, in the reign of King CharleY the* ad^ lie will find 
tKe above aflertion verified. 

H 2 

: Let. 4. ( 100 ) 

Son, fubftitute him in their place, and in confequence of that, 
accept them as righteous ; if fo, here is a mod affecting difplay 
at once, of the ftriQeft juftice, and the freed, richeft mercy. 
The lad conftituent caufe of a tinner's juftification before God, 
is faith. This is fometimes called the faith of Jcfus Chrift ; Gal. 
ii. 16. The faith of the Son of God; Gal. ii. 20. Faith in his 
blood; Rom. iii. 25. &c. So that the proper and immediate 
object of juftifying faith as fuch, is not every truth revealed in 
divine revelation ; but Chrift as a fuffering dying Saviour, pur- 
chafing life and falvation to mankind finners as fuch; or God 
as reconciled to finners, and fatisficd for their fins, by the blood 
of Jefus; or the gofpel as representing fuch a Saviour dying in 
our ftead, and fuch a reconciled fatisfied lawgiver, to the view of 
our minds; hence called the " faith of the gofpel," a '« belief 
<*f the truth," &c. In one word, the nature of juftifying faith 
confifts in this, <( a receiving and embracing the Lord Jefus 
Chrift as freely offered in the gofpel." What is exhibited in the 
word, and preaching of the gofpel to all indefinitely, the believ- 
ing finncr appropriates to himfelf in particular: " Who loved 
me, and gave himfelf for me." So that this faith doth not con- 
fit on iy in a bare a Gent to evangelical truth ; but particularly in an 
appropriation of the divine bleflings, as contained in God's cove- 
nant, and held forth in the gofpel. That Jehovah our righte- 
oufnefs, who in the human nature, was made fin, and a curfc 
for finful and accurfed men, may be precicAis in the fight of ray 
Onefimus, is the carneft defire, and fervent prayer of his 



Dear Onefimus, 

1am forry to learn in yours, that fuch a difrefped for the Lord's 
day exifts with you, as it doth here. I am afraid the evil is 
too epidemical : And the more to be lamented, that the com- 
mand enjoining its ohfervation is fo ftri& and peremptory, yea 
more fo, than any other of the precepts of the moral law. Be- 
fore the exiftencc of fin in this lower world, there exifted a fab- 
bajthl Adam in a ilatc of innocence had no need of a day of reft 


Let. 5. ( 101 ) 

to recreate and refrefh him after the toils of the week ; but God 
faw meet to enjoin him one day in feven, in order that he 
might therein enjoy more fpecial communion with his Creator. 
If a fahbath was requisite for Adam in a finlefs (late, how much 
more for us in our degenerate and corrupt (late, who are fo 
prone to iniquity, and have need of all the helps we can obtain 
againft it. Adam might have lived without fin on earth, but not 
without a fabbarh. As the light of nature teaches us that there is a 
God, and that God is to be worshipped, it therefore teaches of ne- 
ccifity, that there muft be a certain time confecrated, and let 
apart for this purpofe. God himfeif hath fpecified and defined 
the time, and in this fpeciflcation, hath utterly prohibited .all 
manner of worldly employment*, except fuch as have a reference 
to works cither of neceflity or mercy. A feventh day has been 
always (et apart for the folemn worfhip of God fincc the creati- 
on, and fuch a feventh day, as never a week in the alteration was 
without a fabbath, and never a week had two fabbaths ; for as 
the week ended with the Jewifh fabbattt, fo the next week began 
with the chriftian fabbath : Which could not have been the cafe, 
it any other feventh day had been chofen, to be the time of the 

Lord's refurre&ion from the dead.- In order to a right fan&ifi- 

cation of the Lord's day, two things arc neceflary :— An obicr- 
vation of that day as a day of reft. — A confecration of that reft 
wholly to the worfhip and fervice of God.- — r-There muft be a 
reft: ng from all the ordinary works of our calling, Exod. xx. 
9, io. What is acquired on that day, is got by robbing God of 
that time which he hath confecrated for religious purpoies, and 
in this cafe a blefling cannot be expected to attend it, fooner or 
later, it will prove like Achan's wedge of gold, which brought a 
cutfe upon all the reft, which he had lawfully gotten. God may in 
a way of righteous judgment, permit men to go on in a courfe of 
fahbath- profanat ion, in vending rheir goods to fuch wretches as 
tnemlel-es who will buy them, and may permit them to profper 
and rlounfti for a time, in their iniquitous pra&icesj but let fuch 
confider, alchou h he is for the preient filent, he is not like Ba- 
al's Priefts ajleep, ff Becaufe judgment againft an evil work is 
not fpeedily executed, the hearts of the children of men are fet 
in them to c!o evil." He may vifa the iniquities of the Fathers 
!A this refpecl, upon their children after they are laid in the duft, 
and confume that which they acquired by committing a robbery 
upon Heaven. L , There muft alio on the Lord's day be a reft- 
ing from all kinds of recreations, which may be lawful at other 
times, and on other occafions. Thefe arc exprefsly prohibited 
by God himfeif, Ifai. lviii. 13. -r-" Not 6nding thine own plea- 
lure on my holy day :" This is found by experience, that fuch 


Let. 5. ( 10a ) 

finful recreation? do more (teal away our affe&ions from fpiritu- 
al duties, and diftratt us more in God's tervice, than the very- 
works of our calling do. How Heaven-daring is it then to fe« 
men tqtfctratiog cither a part, or the whole 01 that holy day, 
merely for t ! cir own amulement.— — On God's holy day, there 
Ih'uilci he a rrflm -; from a' I immoderate eating or drinking, Sa as 
to unrit us for the di'chaisre or thofe rJiciou? exercifes whether 
puMc. private, or .ecret, winch are incumbent on us on that ia- 
cred day. I do not fay, neither do I believe, that the fabbath is 
to be ohferved as a day "f failing; neither 1 am lure, ought it to 
he ^bferved as a day of feafting. It was certainly intended for far 
higher entertainment, than that which merely refpe£ts the body, 
ami focial intercourfe with one another: Its principal defign i» 
the innVtution n€ it was, that we fhould enjoy communion with 
(C the Father of Spirits." In a word, on the Lord's day there 
oug'n to ^e an a^ftmence from all carnal difcourfc, and carnal 
thoughts as far as pofli'le. Ifai. lviii. i3t7tt" Not fpcaking thy 
own words " As God commands us not to work with our hands 
on that day, fo lie commands the tongue to reft from worldly 
carnal difcourfe, unbecoming the fan&ity of that day. ~- An ab- 
fl nence from all carnal thoughts is certainly rcquifite: God re- 
quires not only the outward man, and external actions to be con- 
fecrated unto him and his fervice on that day, but more cfpecial- 
ly the inward man, the hidden man of the heart. Prov. xxiii- 
26. Rom. x. 10. 

The eft of the fa' bath is to be wholly confecratcd to the wor- 
fhipand fer/c: -n" God, and that either publicly, privately, or 
fecrety: V/o (hipping God publicly in the beauty of holincfs, 
in concert with h s people , in our families, by read ng the Scrip- 
tures, praying, praifing, inlVu<5tifig children and fervants ; &c. 
in our clo'ets, by fecret prayer, meditation, fclf-examination ; &c. 
fo that the fabbath, (as one exprefTes it) ought not to be a fab- 
bath ot oxen and afles, confiftin f in a mere celadon from world- 
ly employments. || r The fancfafkation of the fabbath tends 

much to the honour of God. Obferve God's language to his 
church in this cafe; ifai. lviii. 13. If thou turn away thy foot 
from the fabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day, and call 
the fabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable, and flialt 
honour hira, &c. I do not think that we can poilibly pour great* 
er contempt on the Holy One of Ifrael, than by being guilty of 
facr.ihge; but every one who deliberately, and voluntarily pro- 
fanes that holy day either in thought, word,' or deed, Uguilly pi 
this crime: And it never diminifhes the fin, that men do not 
think they arc guilty. . . . Again, the fan&ifkatlon of the fabr 

II Derhain's Phyfico theology. 

Let. 5. ( T03 ) 

bath is not only honouring to Goc, hut profitable to ourfelves. 
It is a bleffcd day to the carefu ; oblervers 6f it, and Sanctified to 
many gracious purpofes. ^'* The fahKath was made for man," 
i. c for man's <rreat benefit and advantage. || This was one 
great end why thefabbath was inflitutcd, that God might by it, 
in the u'e of all his ordinances, enrch our fouls with fpintual 
blefllngs in heavenly things; and accordin<r!v the fanclification 
of it isane r pecial mean, both to beget, and to ftrengthen grace in 
our fouls, Ezek. xx. 12, 20.- But let us connder the equi- 
ty of the duty to fanefcify this day unto the Lord. Hath not the 
Lord afforded us fix davs in feven for our own fecular bufinefs, 
and referred to him'felf but one, for his worship and fervice, 
whereas he might have required fix days for his worihip, 
and afforded but one for our work ? Is it not therefore moil juft 
and equitaMe, that cone. ere: mould be made of giving unto 
God this day, by confecrating it wholly to his worfljip and fer- 
vice ? In fine, by a careful oVervance of the Lord's dav, we" con- 
tinue and perpetuate a thankful remembrance of the two great 
benefits both of Creation and Redemption, which contain a fliort 
abridgment of true religion. The fabbath duly oofefved is a 
type of the everlafting reft, that remains for the people of God 
in a future world. How then can any poffiblv think to enter 
into that reft, who fpend their time in thefe moft Heaven-daring 
crimes of facrilege, and robbery ? It has been always obferved, 
and the remark is nr>r more common than true, that true religion, 
and the pazuir y~ . have flounfhed moft, where the fab- 
bath has been moft con'cicmioufi • obferved ; and feldorn fhall 
we fee in any perfon or family, or freiety of men whatever, any 
great feriouinefs, or favour of < eh erm, where the fanclification 
of the t'a^hath is neglc. to conceive, (becaufe 

the thing in itfelf is impofTiMe) hdtf a man can pretend to love 
God, and not love his dav, and the rr linance of that day. No- 
thin- 1 apprehend hut a ft rone; delufion of the Devil, can tempt 
a man to imagine he love- and f-ar- Gc-d, and vet habitually 
•ath. I conclude this preamble Oncfimus, by 

ion, namely, that bo'h fis and duty fcem 
to \ . es of this prefent generation. 

urs a certain claim, (but expreffed in the 
moll which you fay you have hy ri^ht of promifc 

on me, to give my fentiments on the 53 chap, of Ifaiah. I 
have no relucTxnce my dear friend to fulfil my engagement; 


• That great and excellent man, Lord Chief luftice Hale, declared 
tn he moft carefully and confeientiouflv obferved the Load's 

•, he found Goi bleffed him more efrecially that week after. — The 
fame obfervation was made by Queen Mary, as Bilnop Burnet hath re- 
corded of her, io the life of that excellent Queen. 

Let. 5. ( 104 ) 

2nd the difcharge of this dcht, will I hope tend in the iflue, to 
corroborate my prefent argument; and I am hire in the fequcl 
you mull agree with me, the Evangelical Prophet in the 
plaincft, but ftrongeft language, proves the fubflitution of Jefus 
in the room and place of the guilty. I am fure On?ftmus t there 
is no article of revealed religion, no doctrine within the compafs 
of divine revelation, fo clearly taught in fo few words, and fo 
often repeated, as the do6trine of the vicarious and propitiatory 
fufFerings of Jefus, in the aforefaid chapter. Who could have 
more clearly and graphically defcribed the cxinanition, and ex- 
altation, the fufferings and death, the wars and victory of Jefus, 
than Ifaiah hath done. He rather fecms to write of events al- 
ready accomplifhed, than fuch as arc only in the womb of the 
decree to be brought into a (late of futurition and being, in fome 
after-period- He appears in our view, rather in the garb of an E- 
vangelift, than in the Prophet's mantle ; gtving a detail of fa&s 
whicb be himfelf had been an eye witnefs of; for the mod part 
making ufc of the prefent, rather than the future tenfc ; pointing 
at the fure and certain accomplifhment of what he wrote, and 
at the fame time, is a ftrong indication of that holy fervour of 
foul with which he was actuated in the mean time. In reading 
the aforefaid portion of holy writ, one would be almoft tempted 
to conclude, that he had been one of the twelve ; had accompa- 
nied his Lord and M a ^ r a ^ tn e time of his public mimftry ; had 
been an eye witnefs of the contempt and contradiction he met 
with from finners ; had feen him condemned ; had been along 
with him in the garden, and had accompanied him to the crofs, 
and behelq! him nailed to the accurfed tree. With an admirable 
dexterity, he enters into the efficient and final caufes of the death 
of Jefus; and not only once or twice, but almoft in every verfe, 
repre r ents him as our fubftitute-facrifice. 

Can any one, at leaft any profeffing the Chriftian religion, 
apply this remarkable prophecy to any, but the Mefliah ? The 
Eunuch, Prefect to Candace Queen of Ethiop a, feemedtobe It 
d I-^fs to whom this piedi&ion ihould refer: Or whom fpeaketh 
the Prophet, of himfelf, or of fome other man, fays he to Philip ? 
A&s viii. 27. But let us confider, that he was only a profclytc, 
and but a novice in the Jewiih mylteries. The cafe is not fo 
with us; wc have the prophecy in hiftory, and the hiftory con- 
firmed by a troop of witnefTes, whofe teftimony is unqueftiona- 
ble ; who with the utmoft perfpicuity, demonftrate the truth of 
the prediction by the event What (hall we fay of thofe holy 
Evangelifts and Apoftles, yea, of Jefus himfelf? All unanimoul 
ly agreeing in this one point, that the Prophet here fpakcof fomt 


Let. 5. ( 105 ) 

I -h.-r man, e'en «' God manifefted in the (km.!' j| Mo clou^l 
m podi ily remain in our minds w'th regard to thc-ohjeci or . th** 
yhicy-j and its principal intendment, unlefs we wilfully ihut 
ryes, and arc determined at all hazards not to -admit the 
•••-ft, and mofl indubitable evidence. Concerning which or 
•nc.ent Kings, or holy Prophets, could it ever be affirmed, that 
lid no fin, neither was guile fcund in their mouth ? W?., 
*ver a de r cendant of Adam hy ordinary generation, fo juft 
y-v, as neither in thought, word, or deed to offend-? Who 
am n 5 the tribe of holy Kings, or Prophet?, healed the maladies, 
.ie in atonement v or ihe fins of their people ? Wh<ch of 
- their perfonal ftripes averted the divine wrath, and pur- 
hy their death, peace and reconciliation with G^d ? In a 
I, who among them died, rofe again, and law a holy feed 
as Me fruit and efTV£r. of their death ? But this is predicted of Jc- 
ilia : " He (ball lee his feed, he fha'l protong his days." &c. 
:i the 2d and y\ vcrfes of the chap, the Prophet defcribes the 
Slaird humble ftate of the Mefijah in-thele metaphorical phra* 
Ess$ " he (hill grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a 
1 > >t out of a dry ground." None ever appeared on, the theatre 
ot this world in 'uch a low and abjeft condition. " The foxes 
have holes, and the birds oi the air have nefts,- hut the Son of 
Man hath not where to lay his head." This was a very different 
appearance from that which the Jews expected the MelTiah would 
make: They dreamed of nothing hut grandeur and majefty to 
attend his every footftep; and particularly, an immunity from 
4hc Roman >oke, the principal (ignal or his appeaiance: But 
how greatly miftaken was that -deluded dreaming nation ! Here 
was the Mefliah, here afofe <k the bright and the morning irarV' 
and yet none of thefe inftgnia\ nothing in his external appea- 
rance, either to attract the attention, or beget a veneration in 
the fpectators. The Sun of righteouf&efs arole, but under 4 
cloud. The rod out of the (km of Jeffe, and the branch out of 
his roots, hudded and came forth ; but how ? As a tender plant, 
and as a root out of a dry ground. Defcended of a mean and 
iovv pirentage; nurfed and brought up, not in Herod's palace, 
but in Jofeph's mean cottage. Let us behold his train, and caft 
cur eyes upon his Dii.iciples and followers; were they com pofed 
«1 the grandees of the nation ? No, he had too mean an appear- 
ance to attach the princes of this world to his interefi, or engage 

II Some modern Jews refef this prophecy to Abraham, fome to Mo- 
fes, others to Ifaiah and Jeremiah, and fome to the Jews in general, 
when in their captivity in BabyJon.— Some of the- more ancient of that 
nation fpeak more agreeably to the truth, whea *he,y confio* this pro- 
phecy entirely to the Mefliah. 

Let. 5. ( 106 ) 

them to embark in bis caufe. Grief and forrow fat on his brow, 
wearinefs and fatigue marked his every footftep. He had no 
form or comlinefs in him why he mould be defircd. In the opi- 
nion of the jews he feemed to be about fifty years of age, when he 
was not much above thirty. But notwithstanding this low and 
debafed (late of the MeiTiah, he was (till, perfonally confidered, 
the brightnefs of the divine glory, and the exprefs character of 
the Father's pcrfon. Such as poffefled the celeftial grace of faith, 
difcerned what lay beyond the reach of carnal men. The Apnf- 
tles could teftify the truth of this: " The word was made flefh, 
(is their unanimous teftimony) and dwelt among us, and we be- 
held his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, 
full of grace and truth." || 

This elegant Prophet proceeds, v. 4. to afiign a reafon for the 
humble and low appearance that the Mefliah made in the day* 
of his incarnation, and thofe calamities and forrows, which were 
the inevitable concomitants of that ftate; and that, in order to 
remove the fcandal which might arife from this confideration. 
iC Surely he hath borne our griefs." There feems to be a parti- 
cular emphafis in the word Aken 9 is furely, and is ufed here rather 
asacaiual, than an affirmative particle. § It contains a reafon why 
Chrift appeared in this humble and abje£r. ftate. It is obferved 
by fome, that it is frequently fo taken, when that which im- 
mediately precedes is uncommon and ftrange. Oneftmus, was 
there ever any event equal, or fimilar to this, (ince the Almigh- 
ty laid the foundation of the world ? Every part of this fcene ap*- 
pears marvellous and ftrange. What think you of " God ma- 
nifested in the ftefti," who created all worlds, and by whofe Al- 
mighty arm all things do confitt, to appear on the theatre of this 
world in this humble and low ftate ? Was he not the brightnefs 


|| Ti is rtptrrttd of a certain King named Jgharis, that upon hearing 
the great tilings Jefus did, lent a Limner to draw his picture: The 
jjmner wrote back, that he could not, for a certain divine glory which 
furrounded his countenance. Whether this was fo or not, there was a 
divine glory, and the traces of a divine majority which attended his eve- 
ry word and aclion. His melt inveterate enemies were obliged to ac- 
knowledge, that " never man taught as he taught." " Tncv wonder- 
ed at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth: Yet he was 
defpiied and rejeOed by the body of the Jewim nation; they neither 
faw the dignity, of his perfon, nor the divine majefty that attended both 
his doctrine and miracles. 

§ It is twice rendered but y Job xxxvi. 8. Pfal. Ixxxii. vii. And 
once in lfai. verily, chap. xlv. 15. In other places where it occurs it 
U rendered furely, or truly. The judicious Calvin takes it in this place, 
rather as a cafual, than an affirmative particle, vide Calvin, in locum. 

Let. 5. ( 107 ) 

of the Father's glory, and the exprefs character of Ws perlV 
Ou-jht he ne \k innate north and exce'iencv, awlracVmg 

from his gracious and ro have been Jfiicie 

bsmimtm, the darling o* this the cafe then? 

No, but the very reverie. U We hid as it were our frees from 
him, he was deipifed, and we efteemed him . To fiV fi 

an invading foe, to perfecute wich unahanng furv an implaca- 
ble and an irreconcilable encmv, would hot be thought ftrangci 
but thus to treat the heft of Beings* who came up n the mo]} 
important bufinefs, to accn^Rpliih the motl gracious purpofe, to 
fave finners from gw.ns; down to the pit : How can we account 
far the bcha aids him, or vindicate their 

conduct ? 1 he descendants of that w'eked generation lie under 
the r proach oi :< crucifying the Lcrd of Glory," to this a 
" Sure!;, he hath borne our g iefs. ' &c. The verb Nafa to bear, 
is ufed varjouily n Scripture; ut its various Mgnihcations may 

be reduced to the three folk) »mg. |j To take up "omewhat, as 

on one's moulder* : To bear the weight of a thing, not only 

te take up, but cany fomewhat that is , as a porter bears 

a burden. — h\ tin?, to remove, or take away : And in this fenfe, 
it is fometimes applied to God, when he pardons, or takes away 
the iniquity of his offending creatures. The blefTed Jefus bore 
our griefs, and carried our farrows, as a ftrong man bears a hea- 
vy burden laid on him. Atbimf?lf\ bore our griefs, and carried 
our forrows, not by dropping a fympathetic tear over miferabie 
finners; but bearing penally the weight of the punifhment o\ 
our (ins; this was i-m poled on him, he cheerfully fu'omitted to 
the burden. — Remember Onfimus, that whatever forrows or ca- 
lamities may f*efaH you in this vale of tears, they arc not penal, 
but catigatory : The rom an abfoliKe God, are 

not intended as part of the price of your redemption; no, they 
come rVom 'jod as reconciled in Jdu; ; are evidences of his love 
and aff.chon, and means for promoting your fa net t heat ion ; to 
wean your carnal heart from this preient evil world, and to 
quicken your d. fires aft^r a better, where no forrow or grief can 
enter. " Yet we did cfreem him ftricken, fmitten of God, and 
afflicted. " Tet, is here an adverfative particle, and may be ren~ 
dered with as much propriety but we did efteem him, &c. We 
viewed him in the light of a moil: noted malefactor, as one who 
juftly deferveci to be punifhed for his own perfonal crimes, and 
that by God himfelf. We looked upon him as fuch an arrocic 


H According to fome Critics it occurs ten or twelve times in Scrip- 
ture. Here it denotes both the reality, and importance of the matter to 
which it. ftands prefixed. See Hebdea on the doctrine of imputed 

Let. 5. ( 108 ) 

offender, whom vengeance would not fufer to live, and fuch a 
wicked one, as ought not to live half his days: Suffering pover- 
ty* g r,c> f» forrow, and reproach, for his own crimes. || But as if 
the prophet had faid, was our judgment according to truth ? 
Did wc pafs a righteous fentence on the Son of God ? Or was it 
not owing to our prejudiced minds, and our corrupt affections 
that the Mcfliah was thus flighted, defpifed, and vilified by us ? 
Certainly it was. For, not bcciufe of any perfonal tranfgreflion of 
his was he flricken, fmitten of God, and afflicted; but/or us. The 
righteous Judge of all, dealt with him, as he would have dealt 
with us, if he had not, in gracious condefcenfion flepped into our 
room, and fuftained our place, and fo made himfelf obnoxious to 
thefc griefs and forrows, the genuine offspring, and native con- 
fequence of our fins, imputed to him. The cafe was really this, 
" he was wounded for our tranfgreflions, and hruifed for our 
iniquities. " Was it any wonder, to behold the Son of God in 
the human nature broken with grief, brought down with forrow, 
when f< he was made fin for us," when our tranfgreflions were 
charged to his account ? Thefe immoralities for which he was 
hruifed, were not his, but ours. He was the holy one of God \ 
he knew no (in, either by inhefion, or approbation. M He 
was wounded for our tranfgreflions." Where, and from whom 
did he receive thefe wounds ? Let the blefled Jefus anfwer, 
in the perlon of an infpired prophet: Zech. xiii. 6". What are 
thefc wounds in thine hands ? Thofe, with which I was wound- 
ed in the houfe of my friends. Oh! cruel friends! He came 
to his own, and inftead of meeting; with that entertainment 
which might have been reafonably expected, inltead of carefling, 
loving and adoring, they pierced, wounded, and brought to the 
duft of death, their, and our bell friend, and mod gracious bene- 
factor \ But alas ! there mufl be more than wounds in the cafe : 
The prickly briar piercing his bleifed temples; the nails rivctted 
through the ftiivering flciri ; the fpear thrufl: through his blefled 
fide, were not fufTicient. Such was the odious and cleteftable 
nature of fin ; fuch was the extenfivc nature of that fatisfaOion 
claimed by infinite julVice, to procure pardon and peace, that 
Jefus mufl be hruifed, as well cs wounded. " He was bruised 
for our iniquities," for our prevarications. He was wounded by 
men, herwas hruifed by God. His cruel friends had the principal 
hand in the former, his own gracious Father, as fuftaining the 
rights, and maintaining the majefty of the Deity, in the latter. 
My dear friend, was there not a weight laid on the Mediator 


U A blafphcmer, a fabbath-breaker, a friend of publicans and finners, 
one who had a devil, and was mad j were the common, bur unjuft. de- 
fignations bellowed on the Sod of God, and Thefri£nd of rutn. 

Let. 5. ( 109 ) 

fufEcient tobruife, yea mortally to wound him, and bring him to 
the duft of death ? It you enquire what it was ? I anfwer, our 
tranfgreflions, our iniquities, and God's wrath. What a ftupeu- 
dous, heavy burden 1 Yet he bore it, he being God, as well 
as man, was qualified for the undertaking. What could not hu- 
manity fo intimately connected with divinity, do, and fuffcr, 
without fuccurnbing under the load. Do you think Onefwms, 
that thefe wounds and bruifes, had no connexion with the par- 
don and purgation of our (ins as the meritorious caufc ? If giving 
the obedience or faith to the doctrines which he taught, and 
imitating the example that he exhibited to the world, were fuffi- 
cient for thefe falutary purpofes, why, in a confiirency with the 
holinefs and jultice of the divine nature, did the Eternal Father 
bruife him under the weight of our fins, and the burden of his 
own wrath ? He was bruiied, not for fins of his own ; not for 
any trial of his virtue; or to exhibit him to the world, as a per- 
fect pattern of fubmiffion, only or chiefly, not only to inform us 
that God hates fin ; but he fuffered/cr our fins as the proper im- 
pufive caufe. || Doth not thefe phial ts, to fuffer forfln, to die f§r 
iniquity, always import fufTering, or dying for thefe fins and ini- 
quities fpoken of as the procuring caule of them ? Jtr. xxx. 15. 
chap. xxxi. 3. Levit. xxvi. 18, 24, 28. 

The prophet adds, " The chaftifement of our peace was upon 
him." The correction, or punifhment netcnary to procure for 
us all happinefs, both in this, and the life to come, was laid on 
him, and he voluntarily iubmitted to bear it. The word Mujar 
which we render chaftifement, imports not only paternal, but 
vindicative corrections. Jer. xxx. 19. In its primary fignifica- 
tion, it is taken for difciphnc, and mnxuetinn ; and has a refe- 
rence to dull and untoward fcholars, with whom worJs, without 
the rod will not keep ihem to their duty. Stcondarly and figu- 
ratively, it is taken for chaftifement ; and fometimes materially, 
tor the puatlihmenr itfelf infli&ed on fin's account. Hofea ix. 
a. The revolters are profound to make (laughter, though I have 
been a rebuker, or a chajiifer of them all. It is oMervcd by (ome, 
that wherever this word occurs in Scripture, it has a reference to 
fin either imputed, or inherent, as tnc procuring cauie oi cor- 
rection, or punifhment. " The ctHitiUinent of our peace was 


II The particle for expreffes not an occ-fion only, or a? feme fpeak. 
an improper caufe. Our fins were the procuring ciufe of all Chriir'v 
fufferings; and the penal effects of our (ins. It is not faid merelr, 
** he was wounded, and bruifed for us," but for our tranfgrejfitnt, i. c. 
He endured the deferved punifhment of our fins. That ttis * the .nc^r- 
ing of the Spirt of "God in thefe phrafes, is as clear as tne Sun tu **/ 
who do cot wilfully (hut their eyes againft the cleared evidence. 

Let. 5. ( no ) 

\)\wn him." Here vfe behold as m a glafs, the gr^e'rotas 
f?id and defirrn of all thefe wounds, hru'rfes, and chaftHements: 
m put Sri en:l, a p^i petti d end to all hnftilities between an of- 
frnded- ( ' a hc'ieving foul, and reftorc peace and reconci- 

liation, and that Upon the ittrtfi honourable terms. The firff arid 
more mi mediate effect of fin, was to fet God and his Creatures 
at variance: The rupture was fo e^i cat, the hreach fo wid*:, that 
nnnc hut " God manifefted in the fiefh" e< uM heal. O rare 
rypedienf r* infinite wifdom ! And was there no way for com- 
poCmx the difference, hut by Chrift's being chaftifed, and that 
unto hlood-fhcddin-jT ? i( He hath made peace by the Mood <$f 
his crofs" And if ever peace he reftored to a rrou led' confer- 
ence, it muff be by faith's application of this blood. Nocttfafg 
jefs will pacify an awakened confeience, but what fatisfies Go<fs 
juftice, namely, the peace- ("peaking blood of Jefus. 

" By his ftripes we are healed." Sin not only fet G^d a»nd 
bis Creatures at variance, but mortally wounded the whole hu»- 
man race: It hath given fuch a deadly (lab to the whole rational 
creation, that no medicine can heal, no antidote can prevent the 
ttfound from proving mortal, but the ftripes of the bleflfed Jefus'. 
The ma^adv is fo interwoven in the nature, and rivetted in the 
conftitution of every Sen of Adam, that no Phyfician can re- 
move but the fecond Adam; and this he could not do, m. any 
example ever he exhibited, nor any doctrine ever he taught, 
neither by his death as a M'artyr' only, but as a real, propitiatory 
CfcrlfTce. Here is the remedy an all-gracious God hath pro- 
vided, and an ever-indulgent Saviour hath by his death procured; 
** for by his ftripes we are healed." 

This evangelical prophet proceeds, v. 6. under another fimilt- 
tide, to point out the loff'and deplorable condition of all man- 
kind, as the natural defendants of the frit Adam. " We all 
like loft fheep have gone aftray," and 'ftrayed to fuch a diftancey 
that we rtever could have returned, fo as tb' be re-inftated in the* 
divine favour, unlefs the Son of God, the Saviour of the worldy 
had come to feek*, and to lave that which is loft. " We haVb* 
turned every one to his own way:" The way of our own 
hearts* the way that our corrupt hearts chofe, and'weVe'unpetu- 
oufty inclined to. This generous cbnfeftion here made by the 
nrcfplfet, intimates the folly of finners as fuch, and their indifpo- 
lednef&to return again to that God from whom they had ftrayed, 
with a.ftrong propenfity to what is fin fu I and deftruclive. Thia» 
atfb clearly evinces the irrecoverablencls of fallen Creatures, but? 
in the way contrived by infinite wifdom, and revealed in the 
Gofpel. '* And the Lord laid on him the iniquity of ; us all." 
Which words> Lthink almoft tt> a dciflorrftfatidrtV affcrt ..the im>- 


Let. 5. ( in ) 

putation of our guilt to Jefus, and God's punifhing him, though 
(potlefs and pure in himfelf, for the fins of his people. It is not 
here faid the Jews perfecuted him, the Devil and his agents raged 
againft him, though all that was true, hut Jekovab himfelf con- 
sidered as an offended righteous lawgiver, tc has laid on him," 
contenting to ftand in the place of finners, " the iniquity of us 
all." The prime agent in ChrifVs iurTerings was " Jehovah 
himfelf." What was the a& or Jehovah in this cafe ? According 
to the text, he laid, or made to meet on him the iniquity of us 
all. || Inquhy here muft ftgnify, either fin itfelf, or guilt and 
punifhment for fin : Confequently, when it is here laid, that the 
Lord made to meet on him the iniquity of us all, the meaning 
' nvuft he, that the Lord punifhed him for the in quity of all ihofc 
in whofe name the prophet here fpeaks. In Scripture rtyfe, ini- 
quity is faid to be on a perfon, when guilt is imputed to him; 
Numb, xv. 31. — 1 Sam. xxv. 24. Up^n me, my Lord let this 
iniquity be, i. e. I take the fault of this man, Naba!,cm myferr": 
Let it he charged on me : I confent to be puniihed for him.— 
The language of the prophet here is very emphatica^ ; the ini- 
quity of us all, which mulr. fignify either, the fins rhemfelves of 
all of us ; or the guilt contracted by alt of us; or the puniihrnent 
due to us for fin ; or fufferings equal to what we were all liable 
to undergo. I am far from averting that the Lord made to meet 
on his Son, iniquity with regard to its fault; Jefus had Hciineft 
to the Lord written on his heart, as well as ^n his mit r e. That 
the Lord imputed to his Son the commiiilon of !o much as one fin, 
or transferred the leait degree of moral pollution, would be the 
height of Wafpfsrmy to maintain: Bat with regard to the guilt 
and puniihrnent of fin., the one was certain'y imputed, ancfr the 
other he fuffered, if the Scriptures can be credited. He volunta- 
rily fitted hirnfelf in the room of thefe ftraying fheep,, hereby to 
evince, (Oh ! That the world would- believe the great- truth) 
that he was the good fhepherd in laying down his life for the 
&eep. Jehovah made to meet on his. Son all the iniquities, of 
aH believers, in all ages and periods of the world. H°»w msny 


11 There are differ* ir reading- of thefe wards. The Greek interpre- 
ters read them thus ; The Lord gave him up for our fins ; the <vul%att 
verfion, the Lo^*d put the fins of us all upon hrm; the Arabic, the Lord 
delivered him up for our fur> ; : ., ths LowLmade u> meet on 

him the iniquity of us all. Tnefe var ru> read ^g* trndiin the iffye to 
the fame thing.; namtly, toconiirm tjis interesting. articU, thafcftray* 
ing loft finners never could be retired to the favour ofOo^.nop intro- 
duced into* Cbrift's paftures, nor brought under the patronage} sunk pro- 
toaiaaaC-H^ave&i but by the impute.tio** of our fins to h in»i ancbthshv 
expiation by &M&^' fWieringf, vide Qawam. da Sacrif. 

Let. 5. ( 112 ) 

ill their num!>er, how heinous in their aggravations ! Mine in : ~ 
quitics, (lays the royal Pfalmift) are gone over my head; form- 
er will we calculate the particles of fand, fcattertd here and 
there, on the fea fhore, than we can number our tranfg^efl 
Can, or dare my Onsfmus, leave this ample acknowl 
this ingenuous confeflion, at the door of the man ace 1 
God's own heart 1 I am confident you are far from !a\ 
rhank God, 1 have no reafon to make fuch an acknowfed 
nor exprefs fuch a confeflion before the mod High God. ; 
think you of the numherlefs (ins of Myriads which met. up-. 
Lamb of God ? What an enormous weight! Add to tbi: 
puniftiment he fu fie red for fin, and the burden becomes \ 
rable ? It brought him to the duft of death. What a pre! 
ocean of waters would a junction of all the rivers in the un 
make, if caft into one bed, and confined within one margin.' 
The idea almoft confounds imagination itfelf. In the 
fon of our glorious Mediator, (in met with wrath, wrath fi; 
sigainrt: (in fo, as to confumc this (in offering, from whic 
fmelled a fwcet favour; and accepting the offering, he foi 
the iniquity of the pcrfonal tranfgreffors, receives their perions 
into favour, and accepts their imperfect fcrvices. 

In confequence of Jehovah's caufing to meet on the Saviour 
the iniquities of us all, the prophet adds, v. 7. He was oppreffed, 
and he was afflicted. See with what propriety this evangelical 
prophet connects this, with what precedes. What c^uld have 
been rationally expected, but the heavieft oppreflion, and the 
fevered affliction when ftruggling under fuch an enormous 
load, " God's wrath, and our fins." The punifhment 
o( the damned in hell, will be a burden too heavy for them to 
bear; oppreffed and afflicted beyond meafure, under the weight 
of innumerable (ins, under the weight of that wrath of which 
none knows the power. How much more oppreffed behoved the 
Son of God to have been, who had all the (ins of his (inning 
people, with all their aggravations to bear, and all that punifh- 
ment, the demerit of their crimes, tofuffer. || " When we were 
rvithout ftrength, Chrift died for the ungodly." Why did he 
die } What was the primary moving caufe, both on the part of 
the Eternal Father, and his Eternal Son ? Love, God fo loved 


ft Trernellius, and others read the wordi thus; it was exacted of 
bini, and he anfwered. The original word will bear this reading j the 
connexion is by no means hurt, by tranflating them thus. What was 
it thai Jehovah exacted of his Son ? Perfect obedience to the law, in its 
moft extenfive claim ; and puniihment for our (ins. Never were there 
fuch info) vent debtors as finners j never fuch a gracious creditor 89 
God ; and never a more condefcending Surety than Jefus. 

Let. 5. ( 113 ) 

the world, that he gave his only begotten Son., occ. John iii. 16. 
Behold the conde r cenfion or' the Siuety : Ye know the grace of 
our Lord Jefus Chrift, although he was rich, yet for our fakes he 
beeame poor. — The High Pried of our proferlion, cheerfully and 
Cordially rcfigned h»m r elf up to the Father's righteous will, and. 
the ftroke of his vindictive julice, without the lead reluctance. 
Lo I come! To do thy will 1 take d/light. Confequently the 
prophet ; ere add;, — '} he rptned not his mouth." He was led 
as a Lamb to the Haughtier." When falfe witnefles arofe, and 
laid things to his charge, things which he was never guilty of, 
things which heknewnot, eitherby commifiion, or approbation ; 
fee how this meek Lamb of God behaved. When wicked men 
were fuhorned to hatch the moil palpable raifehoodi, and in- 
troduce lying evidences againfl him; with what admirable pa- 
tience, aid cheerful resignation did he behave ! He never open- 
ed his mouth. Might he not have appeared in his own defence ? 
Could he not have eafily repelled thofe lying evidences ? Cer- 
tainly he cou'd: Ye: he did not, in (0 much that Pilate marvel- 
led, Mat. xxvii. 12, 14. He appeared before an higher tri- 
bunal ; He had to anfwer before an impartial Judge, tor what 
he had fpohtaneoufly contracted to pay. Here was a charge, 
considering the ftation he filled, could not be fuperfeded. The 
charges brought in againft him ! ~>y the Jews were of little, or no 
concern tc the blefled Jefus; he cheerfully acquiefced in the 
mofl: unjufl fentence thar could have been paffed by any Judge. 
'* The Lamb of God which taketh away the fm of the world, " 
-went cheerfu'ly to the altar: .lyeyer opened his mouth when re- 
viled, baited, fcoureed, and nailed to the accurfed tree- And 
when our debt cf punishment was exacted of him by the Father, 
with the moft remarkable patience he resigned up himfe'f to the 
will of Heaven : " Not my .will, but thine be done."|| 

The p-ophe: proceeds to in'iorm us of the true and genuine 
reafon of his death- fC He was cut off, out of the land of the 
living; for the tranfgreflion of my people, was he {Iricken.'' 
As he flood the furety of God's (inning people, their tranlgrefli- 
ons were charged to rm account ; and as a vicarious fcrFerer, he 
mutt die in order for their expiation. It is hard to conceive, 
why the Lamb of God ihould have been cut off out of the land 
of the living, or how it could have been confident with the ftrict 
justice of God, or with the immaculate purity and holinefs of 


I It was judged by the Heathens a bad omen, If the vicVm came 
with relu&ince to the alrar; or when bound, to break loofe, or low : 
Hence it that expreuwn of Ovid. Mu^itus v'ctima diros edidit- 


Let. 5. ( 114 ) 

his nature, to cut off his Son, if there was no fin in him either by 
inhefion, or imputation. But that fin, and our fins too, were 
his by imputation, we are, (if we credit the lively oracles of God) 
conflrained to believe. u For the tranfgrefiion of my people' 

was he flricken." The prophet proceeds further to point out 

the principal agent in his death, v. 20. u It pleafed the Lord to 
bruile him." Although he flood in the nearefl, and mod inti- 
mate relation to the Father, yet he would abate nothing of his 
hatred againfl fin, imputed to one fo dear to him, and who never 
had done any thing contrary to his will. The flrong and pierc- 
ing cries he uttered could avail nothing. As our reprefenting 
head, he fell into the hands of an abfolute God ; a God whole 
righteous law, and inflexible juflice demanded fatisfacYion, pre- 
vious to our reception into favour, or our participation of the 
celeflial inheritance. " It pleafed the Lord to bruife him." In 
this critical moment, God feems to lay afide the bowels of a Fa- 
ther, and put on the garb of an irreconcileable enemy: Upon 
which account probably, our glorious furety in the midfl of his 
agony gives him the title of God, and fuperfedes the ufual title 
Father. i( My God, my God ;" not my Father, my Father. 
He feems to hang upon thecrofs like a difinherited Son, while he 
appeared in the garb of a finner. Then was his head loaded 
with curfes, while he flood under that awful fentence, " Curfed 
is every one that hangeth on a tree." God left him not to the 
will of the inflruments of his death : No, he mufl have the chief- 
cil blow of bruifing him, himfelf. All the power of Devils and 
men, could not flrike a blow flrong enough, to fatisfy the claim 
of juflice, and fecure the rights of holinefs: The cup was there- 
fore put into his hand by the Father. He would rather behold his 
dear Son groaning on the crofs, than his holinefs under the inju- 
ries of a tranfgrefling world.— <c When thou (halt make his 
foul an offering for fin," i. e. a piacular vi&im for the expiation 
of fin ; this is the meaning of the term in the original language. 
Thus the prophet in order the more fully to afcertain the nature 
and intent of ChrifFs death, affertsin the mod unequivocal terms 
that he was a vicarious fufferer. " For, (adds the Evangeli- 
cal prophet) he mail bear their iniquities. And he bore the fins 
of many. " v. If, 12. To bear fin in the ufual acceptation of 
the phiafe, is to be punilhed for fin. || Though he was number- 
ed with tranfgreflors, though he bore the fins of many, yet he 
was the holy one of God, who did no fin : Therefore for no per- 
fonaF fault was he obnoxious to puniihment. Mufl it not there- 
fore unavoidably follow, that there was a trnnflation both of our 
guilt, and - ponffhment, by a judiciary imputation of the one, 


ft Levit. i. 5, 19, 20. chap. xvii. xx. xxiv. Numb. xiv. 13. 

Let. 5. ( 115 ) 

and a vicarious fuffering of the other. Confequently it muff 
neceffanly follow, that thefe his penal fuffer-ngs did truly and 
really placate an offended God, and reconcile to God offending 
/inners. \\ hat n.e:cfiuy was there for all thefe forrows, griefs, 
and hruifes, if our peace and reconciliation with God, could have 
heen effected hy his doctrine^ and example ? Whv did Jehovah 
ftrike, finite, and afflict his own Son ? Why did he ^ruife him in 
the awful and tremendous manner he did ? Why did he make his 
foul an offering for fin ? No often fihlc rcafon can poftihlv he a'- 
fi^ned, but becaufe he was our furety, and iVod in the room of 
the principal tranfgrefior. The griefs, the forrows, the fins, the 

t ra n fg re nVns that he bore were ours. To fum up the whole, 

we may behold here, the meritorious caufe of Ch rift's death, cur 
fins; the e-ficient caufe, the imputation M~ them to him by a ju- 
diciary act of the Father, and the voluntary fafception of them 
by the Son of God in man's nature; the final caufe, the expia- 
tion of fin, and redemption from punifnment. 

Oneftmus, in order that you may be thoroughly convinced that 
this Evangelical prophet fpeaks of Chrift, and of none other, we 
find the aforefaid remarkable predictions appled by an infpired 
Apoftle almoft in the very exprefs words, 1 Pet. ii. 24, 25. 
The phrafes ufed by this Minifter of the circumcifion, were per- 
fectly familiar to thofe to whom he directed his epift'e. They 
knew, that to take away fin in a facrificial fenfe, had a relation 
to an atonement made by a facrifice for that fin, for which the 
facrifice was offered: Therefore, when Chrift is laid to bear our 
fins, (Gr. to lift them up, and bear them away.) the mean- 
ing is, he took the punifhment of them up^n btmfclf, and made 
atonement for them before God. This is far different from the 
Socinian glofs on this head. They will tell voj that he did not 
undergo the punifhment of our tian'gKinons ; but that his 
voluntary death prevailed with Godtoabfolve his fervants at the 
laft, and reward them with eternal g'orv. So then it would 
feem that fatisfa&ion is yet to be given, and atonement made, 
notwithstanding of all that Chrift ha r h dor? and luffered. But 
is there not the greateft realon to dread, that if the creditor de- 
mands what we owe to lav/ and juftice, that in dead of paying the 
laft, we will never be able to pay the firft farthing of the de^t. 
But perhaps Socinians, thefe great mailers of reafen, and com- 
mon fenfe, may have a flock by them, cf which we have no ac- 


I 2 

Let. 5. ( 116 ) 

Oneftmus, I had fcarce finifhed the lad fentencc when I wa« 
interrupted by the fudden appearance of my friend Superbus. 
He reminded me of my former promife, never to write to yoo 
on any fubjecf of importance, without communicating the fame 
to him. I acknowledged he had a jufl: claim upon me by virtue 
of my promife, and that his requeft fhould be immediately an- 
fwercd, providing his time and patience would permit : Accor- 
dingly I read to him what I had written to you en the fubftitution 
ofChrift, as a propitiatory and vicarious faciifce. He paid a 
particular attention to that curfory view I had taken of the liii. 
of Ifaiah; but feemed not to relifh my fentiments, nor coincide 
with my explication: Accordingly he made this reply. " I 
" fear Philemon you will find it a matter of no fmall difficulty to 
" prove your point, and eftablifh your hypothecs, from fome of 
" thefe Scriptures upon which you feem to lay the greateft ftrefs. 
" For inllance, '* he hath borne our griefs, and carried our for- 
" rows :" This according to you, points out the punifhment he 
f< endured in confequence of the imputation of our fins; and fo 
" his bearing thefe, nece flarily fuppoles a proper and real fatis- 
•f faction made for them. But with your leave; do we not find 
" in Exod. xxxiv. 8. and Numb, xxxiv. 8. the word Naja 
s * is there ufed limply to pardon, without any reference to Mcf- 
94 6ah's bearing our fins in his own body on the tree. I would 
'■ wifh at leaf! to know, how I am to underftand this term in 
" the two forementioned Scriptures. The Lord, the Lord God 
" merciful and gracious, forgiving iniquity, &c. You know 
fS that this is the very fame term which the prophet ufes when he 
*' fays he bore our griefs. According to you he bore them as a 
" piacular victim in our room, and fo made an atonement foi 
*• them; and in this way our fins come to be pardoned, and we 
(( faved both from the guilt and punifhment of iniquity." 

Superbus, in order to give you all manner of fatisfacYion on 
thio head, let me remind you of that which I formerly proved, 
viz. that confidering the holinels of the divine nature, and the 
righteoufnefs of the divine law, God could not in a confiftency 
with his juftice manifelled in the threatning, forgive fin without 
a previous fatisfaclion : From hence the neccflity ot ChriiVs 
death was inferred. Obferve again, that God may be faid to 
bear, (or as the term is tranflated to forgive) our fins in another 
point of view, than Chrift bore them on the accuiied tree; that 
Chrilt did this, is the language of an infpired Apoflle; that God 
bears, or forgives fin is the language of an infallible hiflorian : 
Both are true. Chris's bearing our fins on the tree, opens a way 
for God's pardoning them, to the glory of his juflice, and the ho- 
nour of his law. The Scripture knows of no other channel ( 


Let. 5. ( 117 ) 

through which pardon flows to the (inner hut through Chrift the 
propitiation, and only Mediator between God and man ; it di- 
rects the awakened finner to no other method than faith in the 
mercy of God, through the atoning facrifice of Jefus. Why- 
did Chnft hear our fins, if they could have been pardoned with- 
out any reference to his fufferings.; and fuch a reference as car- 
ries in it this idea, that they were truly propitiatory ? Let us at- 
tend to the language of the inspired Apoftle of the Gentiles on 
-this head: " Whom God hath let forth to he a propitiation 
through faith in his blood: In whom we have redemption through 
his blood, even the forgivenefs of fins." In every beitowment of 
pardon there is an act of mercy, and every a£r. of pardoning mer- 
cy prefuppoies fatisfaciion given, and an atonement made by the 
furety. Suptrbus further replied ; " I cannot conceive how your 
" opinion, and that of the Evangelifl: Matthew can ever coin- 
" cide*: The fbrrows, the griefs that Chrift bore, according to 
" your hypothefis, have a reference to our moral tranfgrerlions, 
.*' and Chi ill's fufferings becaufe of their imputation to him; but 
" the infpired Evangel ill feems rather to refer thefe to the bodily 
€t infirmities oftho'e, with whom. lie was converfant in the days 
i{ c^ his flt(K. If you pleafe, I will read the text, Mat. viii. 
M 17. That it might be fulfilled which was ipoken by the pro- 
" phet, faying, he himfelf took oar infirmities, and bore our 
(< fickneflcs. U you pleale jt.o yiew ,the preceding context, you 
ft will find ,to be true what I have jull now afTerted. I can- 
" not conceive how you can maintain your opinion, and grant 
*f the infallibility of the ESyapgelift." 

Superbus, why may not this prophecy relating to the Meffiah 
have a twofold accomplish men t ? Was it not accomplished, 
when he removed the infirmities, and healed the dilea es that 
were prevalent among the Jews; and by lufTering on the crofs, 
procuring fardon and remJion (of moral tranfgreffions. -j- You 
will find rnanv predictions in Scripture, particularly in the Old 
Tetlament, of a compound fig ni fie at ion. e. g. That illuftrious 


f The Jews were of opinion, that this paflage had a relation to the 
Median's procuring the rcmiffion of fin bv his death, as well as healing 
their bodily difteMpers. — The learned Grotius was of the fame mind; 
fin wurcU are rheCft, " Sicut vererum res geftss rerum Chritti figuram 
•' habireruot; ita et ipfiusChrifti a£tiones alias aiiis denotandis infervie- 
" runt. Nam beneficium corporibus reddicae fannis quin figuram re- 
" miffionis pecc<norum et fanatarum mentium tulerit, dubitari non po- 
*• teft. Bis ergo impletum eft vaticinium. Priino cum Chriftus femet 
" defatignns ad vefperam ufque aliorum malis levandis vacavit; ut hie 
«' o!h>ndit Mmthttus. Poiteriu?, cum crucis fupplicium perferens re- 
" miifionem peccatorum nobis impetravit."" Vide Grotius in locum. 

Let. 5. ( 118 ) 

prediction which \vc hnve in Ifaiah, chap. ix. t*. 1. is of thii 
Tort. The people which walked in darknefs have feen a great 
light Now, is it not evident, that this prediction had a primary- 
reference to the redemption of the Jews from their Babylonifh 
captivity ? By darknefs, and the fhadow of death is intimated, 
the calamitous and miferablc (late of the Jewifh nation when ex- 
iles from their native country. It is here foretold concerning 
that peop'e, that they mail f^e a great light: They (hall experi- 
ence a happy turn in their affairs; and fee the hand oi a kind 
providence breaking their bands, and bringing about their delive- 
rance. — Was not this prediction alfo eminently accomplifhed in 
New Teftament times, by the preaching of the everlafting Gof- 
pel by our Lord Jefus Chrift, about the fca coaft of Galilee. || 
Might not this prediction be referred to that glorious period, when 
the Saints mail emerge out of a long ftate of darknefs, in which 
they had lien for many ages in the bowels of the earth, to a glo- 
rious immortality ; to enjoy the vifion and fruition of God, where 
no mifery nor calamity can ever enter; where the Lord will be 
their everlafting light, and their God their glory ? 

*' \ have yet one objection againll your opinion with regard to 
* f Chrift's bearing our fins, and making his foul an offering for 
te fin to make an atonemenr before God: And this I imagine, I 
" am fully warranted to object againft your hypothefis from the 
" inftance of the Scape-goat. This Goat you know was pre- 
<c fented before the Pried.; and by the impofition of hands, all 
" the fins, iniquities, and tranfgreffions of the whole houfe of 
te Ifrael confeffed over its head : It was then fent into the wilder- 
" nefs. Now Philemon, was not fin here taken away without 
cc ftedding of blood ? Why, if there was fuch a neceffity for 
<c blood-ftiedding in order to make atonement, was not the Goat 
" immediately flain, and offered up in facrifice ? If that had 
ft been done, it would have ftrongfy corroborated your opinion; 
<f particular! y, as the Goat was an eminent type of Chrift; hut 
" we find the reverfe was the cafe. The plain meaning of this 
€ * folemn tranfa6tion confiftcd, I apprehend, in neither more 
** nor lefs than this, to intimate to the Jews, and convey this 
'* moral leffon to us, that God had taken away their fins, and 
" pardoned their iniquities, by an a£t of his mercy as truly and 
" really, as if they had been actually transferred to, and carried 
" away by that animal, into the wildernefs." 

Superhus, your objection is erroneous in a variety of refpe&s. 
You feem to take it for granted, that the phrafe to bear fin, has 
only a refpeel: to the Scape-goat's carrying away the fins of the 
Ilraelitifh congregation into the wildernefs, on the great day of 

atonement ; 
N Mat. iv. 16. Luke i. 29. 

Let. 5. ( 119 ) 

atonement; but fhould not the phrafe he extended further, and 
referred to all thofe propitiatory Sacrifices which -were offered up 
on other occafions ? You maintain, that there was no tranflati- 
on of fin to the Goat ; that there was not a proper real tranflati- 
on I srant, for this very good reafon, that that Creature was not 
capable, either by fuffering, or any other way, aclually to re- 
move the guilt of fin. But dare you affirm the fame thing of Je- 
fus. We muft always obferve, a very great difference between 
the type, and antitype; the fhadow, and the fubitance. It is 
true, that neither the blood of Bulls or Goats, or the afhes of an 
Heifer, fprinklinfr the unclean, were Sufficient to purge away 
the filth of the confeience. But can any one be fo prefumptu- 
ous as to deny, that the blood of Jefus, who through the Erernal 
Spirit offered himfelf to God, is not of fufficient value to an. 
fwer this defirable end. That there wa,s no tranflation of the 
fins of the Ifraolitifh congregation to the Goat, fo that in no 
fenfe whatever he bore their fin, I utterly deny. If the Goat 
uras not to be viewed in a vicarious light, and for this reafon had 
the fins of a finning people transferred to him, the whole of this 
ftrik'ng tranflation was nothing but a mere folemn farce. See 
how minutely, and emphatically the Spirit of God relates the 
whole affair. Levit. xvi. 21, 22. And Aaron ffiail lay both 
his hands upon the head of the live Goat; and confefs over him, 
all the iniquities of the children of Ifrael, and all their tranfgref- 
fions, in all their fins, putting them upon the head of the Goat, &c. 
v. 22. And the Goat jh all bear upon him all their iniquities into 
a land not inhabited. 

Now Superbus, I afk. what are we to underftand by thefe phraf- 
es ? What idea do they convey to us, if there was no tranflation 
ot the guilt of that people to the Goat ? Although not a real and 
proper, yet a ceremonial and typical tranflation, there certainly 
was. And in order to convince us the more thoroughly of this 
the Goat afterwards was ftill reputed unclean ; And the perfon 
that carried him away into the wildernefs, was under the necefii- 
ty of wafhing his clothes, and bathing his flefn in water before 
he entered the camp. Levit. xvi. 26. You further objeft, that 
the Goat was not flain ; and fo fin may be pardoned without 
blood-fhedding, contrary to a cardinal article in my creed, that, 
<c without fheddinc: of blood there is no remiflion." But it can- 
not be pofitively affirmed whether it fuffered or not. If we can 
give any credit to Jewifh traditions, it fuffered, and that a violent 
death. |j One thing is certain, that it was carried into an inhofpi- 


II The Jews affirm, that the Goat was fent into the wildernefs, and 
thrown headlong down a fleep rock. They further add, that a fcarlet 


Let. 5. ( 120 ) 

table dcicrt, where very probably, it periflied either through 
want, or wis torn by wild bead?. 

But to c^mc nearer rhe point, obferve, that the tranflation of 
the guilt of the people on the Scape-goat, and his banifhment into 
the vvildemcfs, wa^ not the whole, but only a part, and the !eaft 
part too of this tran r a<5tion. The expiation principally depended 
upon the other Goat that was flain. For you muft rernember r 
that the Lord's Goat was offered up in facrifice, and its Mood 
poured out, and fprmkled upon the holy place, previous to the 
fending away of the Hazazel, or Scape-goat. Therefore Sufer% 
bus, you are always to advert to this, that this ceremony confid- 
ed not in one a&, nor was finiflied by one Goat; But to the com- 
pletion of this ceremony, the two Goats were neceflary ; the one 
to be offered up in facrifice, the other to be fent away alive into 
the wildemefs. The fiift typified the expiation of fin by blood- 
fhedding ; the Iaft pointed out the immediate effect of this ex- 
piation, the taking away, or removal of ^uilt, that it fhould not 
be remembered by God, nor come into judgement againft them. 
Materially confidered, every fin-offering contained all that was ty- 
pified by thefe two Goats: But God for the greater confolatior* 
of his peop ] c, repeated this annually to convince them indeed, 
that by- facrifice their fins were to be done away, and expiated. 
We find fomething fimilar to this in the cleanfing of the Leper, 
Levit. xiv. 6, 7, 52, ^3. Now you fee Superbus, that of thefe 
two birds, one was to be llain, and the other let go alive. The 
blood of the flain bird fprinkled on the Leper, cleanfed him from 
his difeafe ; the letting the live bird go, was a certain token of 
its removal. The imperfection that ftill attended all types, re- 
quired that on various occafions, and in different rcfpe&s, the 


thread was tied about its horns ; arid if God was to fhow himfelf pro- 
pitious in pardoning their fins, the fcarlet thread turned white. Ac- 
cordingly they refer what we have in Ifaiah, i. id', to this tranfacli- 
on, and explain it accordingly. M Though your fins be as fcarlet, they 
/hall be as white as fnow. Though they be like crimfon, they {hall be as 
wool. They further add; that if the fcarlet thread thus changed' its 
Colour, he that carried the Goat into the wildernefs founded a horn, 
and others who were appointed at proper diilances for this purpofe, re- 
peated the found ; fo that the news foon reached Jerufalem, and from 
that, in a very ihort time from Dan to Beer.Oieba : iVnd by this method 
the whole land came to know in a very fhort time, that God was pro- 
pitious in pardoning their fin. They proceeded then to praife God for 
his goodnefs. But if the fcarlet thread changed not its colour, this was 
an evidence to them that God was wroth ; and upon this the horns were 
filent. A general dejection overfpread the whole land: Fafting an4 
continual prayers were appointed to placate an offended God, and turn 
away his wrath. Turrentine. de Satisfact. 

Let. 5. ( 121 ) 

fame tiling ihould he taught by more than one type ; which vva* 
the ca r e i 1 th n £ in fiances- j| 

I won .;i a (It you 5 ' : ieror not thefe two Goat^, and 

the ceremon'".s appertaining to them, had no regard t<> the r?m«- 
val of in ? What: opjni hi think you did the Jews entertain or th's 
whole procefe ? 1 prefume, i ma ' answer for you, that it was their 
judgment, "that tb chofciij the one to he flain, the other to 

he let o alive, jew to the purgation, and removal of 

their iniquity. I afk again ; whethet or nor, was it a real, or on- 
ly a figurat ve atonement ?.nd removal of fin that was made by 
thefe .Goats? You mml certainly reply, it was only figurative. 
What thin d d '"his who! .-ceremony prefigure ? Did it not adum- 
brate, an I point at the future fuffer death of the Mefliih, 
who was in the fulnef* of time to come, and hy his death and 
refurrect o •... purchafe end apply, the great and interefting Hef- 
(ings which this, and ah the other Jewifh facrifices could only 
exhibit in a very dark, and imperfect manner ? 

I know not indeed Philemon, how I can poffiMy underhand this 
myftery in any ether light. And to tell you the truth, I am more 
and m^re confirmed in this great and capital article of our holy 
religion, pfrdon of fin fa the propitiatory and vicarious death of the Sen 
cf God. I am convince.:, that that glorious perionaged ; ed for us; 
bore our up. ; was ltr : ckrn, fmitten, and afflicted of God in our 
rzom an : - . a v dear Philemon, would I reckon myfelf, 

if I c-ould adopt with the fame confidence, and with the fame 
a flu ranee of faith, the Apo'He's language: " Who loved me, 

and gave himlelr for- me." Having f aid this, he was haftily 

called away, and your friend left to his own meditations.— I in- 

1 The myftery of the two Goats have been varioufly expounded by 
Divines. And clearly, adumbrated the two natures of Ch rift : The 
human nature which fuffered, the divine which is inipatiihje. Others 
the ftatc and condition of the Mefliah before, and after his refurrection : 
His dying on the crofs, and hi< riling again to live fur ever. Other 
iind our redemption both by price and power, emblematically exhibi- 
ted : Chrift dying for fin, and removing it by virtue of his meritorious 
death; and engaging with tr.e Devil, man's adverfary, and overcoming 
him by his power, a> a*rifen Saviour. It is true, that we arc reedeem- 
ed both by price and power, but whether or not, thefe two Gonts prefi- 
gure Conn's exerciling thefe two mediatorial offices is a queition. — 1 
imagine, that we are rather warranted to understand rhis myftery, and 
«xplain it in no other light, than as pointirgout the perfection of Chritt'i 
£crifice: Who not only bore oar fins in his own body on the tree, but 
•aifo lives, to fee to the effectual application of all the fruits of his propi- 
tiatory and vicarious death. This is evidently taught in thefe words of 
the Apollle, Rom. iv. 25. Who was delivered for our otfcnces f aid 
rofc again for our j unification. 

Let. 5. ( 122 ) 

tended, if I had not Keen interrupted by Superbu/, to have pro- 
ceeded further in eftablifhing this great article of the Chriftian reli- 
gion; the truth of ChrilVs fatisfa&ion in our room and ftead. If 
health permit, you will foon hear again from your friend. ■ In 
the mean time, that my dear Oneftmus may reap all the fruits 
which flow from bis death, who made his foul an offering for fin ; 
-who bore our (ins, in his own body on the tree ; is, and ever will 
be, the cordial, and mod fervent prayer of 



Dear Onefimus. 

T Received your kind letter; am extremely happy to hear of 
• your welfare; particularly, that your foul profpers. May 
you, in the ufe of all Heaven's inftitutions, be found adding a 
cubit to your fpiritual ftature ; until you arrive to the meafure of 
the ftature of a perfect man in Chrift Jefus. In your fpiritual 
progrefs, you may lay your account to nieet with a variety of in- 
terruptions, both from a body of fin and death within you, and 
from the temptations of a cunning malicious foe, and the enticing 
allurements of an enfnaring world. But from whatever fource 
they originate, he that is with you, and in you, is ftronger than 
all that are againft you. He is omnipotent : He will be your 
rock, and your fhield. 

You complain in yours, that you find yourfelf at a very great 
Jofs, to preferve your confciencc fafe ; and your garments yn- 
fpotted, and at the fame time to maintain your honor and cha- 
racter in the world. I afTure you Onefimus, you will find thefe 
ihings aimed: incompatable in the midfl: of a crooked and per- 
yerfe generation. They will wonder that you do not run into 
the fame excefs of riot, fpeaking evil of you. |j I would tender 
you this advice ; never in the flighted inftance difhonor your 


N " Methinks fays Bimop Hall I fee thofe monftrous Sons of Lamech 
coming to Noah, and aiking him, what he meant by that ftrange work ? 
To whom, when he reports God's purpofe and his, they go away laugh- 
ing at his idlenefs, and tell one another, that too much holinefs had made 
fcim mad: Yet (adds the Bifhop,) they cannot all flout Noah out of his 
faith ; he preaches, and builds, and finishes !" 

Let. 6. ( 123 ) 

dear Redeemer ; wound vour conscience, and facrifice your own 
peace to gratify tan ; or to ihun the g:eate!t. obloquy and 

reproach which tnav be cafi: on you, in a way of living lohcrly, 
righteoufly,and godly, in this present evi world. Confider, that 
your great Lord a^ vhofe vou are, and whom you lerv/-, 

endured the contradi&ioa or" finners a gain ft himfclf. t4 He was 
defpifed and rejected of men • and we hid as it were our faces 
from him." Let your confeience he well informed o^ what is (in 
and dury from God's word, and then, let the confluence be 
what it will, never contradict its language, n-r (top its mouth. 
How many fell their foul to pleafea friend ! Never look, on that 
man to be your friend, who would advife you, for enhancing 
your temporal interefts, to He guilty of an unjufl:, and wicked 
aSion. A man who has got the better of his conscience, cart: off 
all fear of God, and lives in an open violation of all the rules of 
moralitv, you need never expe&, (let his pretentions be what 
they will,) that he will prove a fteady friend. A man who pays 
little, or no regard to his own eternal intercfts, you cannot ex- 
pect, that he will intereft himfelf much in yours. What a world 
of trouble oftentimes doth an unlawful cringing to a wicked 
world, involve men in. You may remember what happened to 
Darius for his compliance with his wicked court. His princes and 
counfellors, gathered together with one accord, to have Daniel 
condemned. For what ? For trea'.bn, for rebellion ? No, but for 
praving to his God. King Darius, in compliance with their 
wicked r uit, condemned innocent Daniel; figned, and fealed 
an irrevocable decree, that he fhould be thrown into the Lion's 
den : His conference in the mean while informing him that he 
was wrong. You know alio, what trouble and vexation of fpirit 
he !a u ou r ed under, until he knew that Daniel was fafe. Beware 
of complyinr ' man, in any action contrary to the dic- 

tates of \ oik c^h'cience. Take heed of* committing an action, 
when confeience in the mean time, is riving in your face. Wait 
ftraight, an J yon Trull not Humble. I have often thought with 
pleafure on that facred, and confolatory truth: "The Lord 
keepeth the feet of his Saints." If this was not the cafe, they 
would foon be as weak, and as wicked as other men. " When 
thou waikeft, thy feet (hall not (tumble." May my Gnc/lmus 
be more than a conqueror over all the temptations, and allure- 
ments which may be caft in his way: May he triumph over all 
the power and policy of the wicked one: And for ever pofTefs 
that peace and confolation, which flow from faith's apprehension 
of the all-atoning merits of that Jefus, who fuffcred and died for 
the ungodly. 

7 You 

Let. 6. ( 124 ) 

You defire me in yours to enlarge fomewhat further on the 
fubjeft of ChrifVs death as a proper, real facrifice for fin. You 
cannot claim any thing at my hand, more agreeable to my in- 
clinations to discharge : As I firmly believe, that life eternal flows 
from the crofs, and fprings from the grave, of a crucified and 
rifen Saviour. I can find no other refuge fet before men, as fin- 
ners, into which they can fly, and be fafe. — '-*-" This man, 
(fays the prophet,) (hall be as an hiding place from the wind, and 
a covert from the temped: As rivers of waters in a dry place, 
as the fhadow of a great rock in a weary land. } I mail at pre- 
fent confine myfelf to ChriiVs fufferin^s in the garden, the night 
immediately preceding his crucifixion ; and by attentively in- 
veftigating his fore foul-conflicl: in Gethfemane, we muft be laid 
out to view him not as a Martyr only, but as a vicarious faffercr, 
having our fins imputed to him, and bearing the wrath of God 
on that account ; and fo making a proper and real fatisfa&ion to 
{he juttice of God, for our offences. 

Before J enter particularly on this, let me remind you of a 
circumftance ivhich claims your attention. Previous to his con- 
flict in the garden, he was with the eleven fhut up in a clofc 
room, where the lad fupper was celebrated. After which, and 
probably all {landing; he begins his confolatory fermon, from 
the 31 v. ofthcxiii. chap, of John's Gofpel, to the clofe of 
.the xvi. chap. This being ended, he lifts up his eyes to hea- 
ven ; prays for himfelf, for his Difciples, and for all who fhould 
believe on him through their word. )| What a deep concern filled 

§ Ifai. xxxii. z. 

H According to Maimvnides, there was a threefold form of prayer uf- 
«d by the high Prieft on the great day of atonement, when he went into 
the holy place, to make atonement for himfelf, his houfehold, and for alj 
the congregation. That for himfelf and family was conceived in thefe 
words. " I befeeh thee O Lord, we have finned, we have offended, 
we have rebelled in thy fight; I and my family. I befeech O Lord, 
.pardon now our fins, our offences, and backflidings ; by which we have 
offended and rebelled, I and my family; as it is written in the law of 
Mofes thy fervant ; where it is faid, on this day expiation iliall be made 
for you, and ve mall be clean from all ypur fins before the Lord " 
That for the whole Aaronical priefthood was conceived in almoft fimi- 
Jur terms. " I befeech thee O Lord, we have finned, we have offend- 
ed, we have rebelled in thy fight, I and my family; and the Sons of Aa- 
ron thy holy people: I befeech thee O Lord, pardon now our fins, pur 
offences, and backflid-ngs, whereby we have finned, offended, and rebel- 
led ngainft thee, I and my family, and the Sons of Aaron thy holy peo- 
ple ; as it U written in the Law of Mofes thy Servant, on this day expi- 

Let. 6. ( 125 ) 

the innocent foul of Jefus for completing the work of man's faf- 
vation ! What unparalleled affection for his Difciples and follow- 
ers ! What inimitable patience and refignation to the mod: afflict- 
ing lot, to the moil cruel death that ever was inflicted, or fuffer- 
ed !— Having finifhed his prayer; he leaves the room, paffes 
over the brook Cedron, and entering into the garden, this devot- 
ed victim begins to fuffer. 

This very affecting fcene is minutely defcribed by three of the 
infpired Evangelifts. || The infpired Apoftle of the Gentiles 
rakes notice of it alfo, in his epiftle to the Hebrews, chap. v. v. 
7, 8. Permit nte then Onefimus, for the fake of order, and per- 
lpicuity to defcribe his fufferings in Gethfemane, with regard to 
their parts and degrees; with regard to their adjuncts; and laft- 
ly their effects. — The parts of his prefent agony were two, for- 
row, and fear; the former flowed from that prefent preffure of 
foul he was under; the latter, from the dreadful apprehenflon of 
that future diftrefs, into which he was foon to be involved. The 
adjuncts, or concomitants attending this fcence, were the bloody 
fweat, and the prefence of Angels, fent on this occafion to 
ftrengthen him. The effects attending this forrow and fear, 
were the moft ardent prayers put up to his heavenly Father, 
that this bitter cup might pafs from him. The fervor of which 
is thus expreffedby the Apoftle; " Who in the days of his flefh, 
offered up ftrong cries, and tears." How minutely is this whole 
fcene painted forth by the Spirit of God: How comfortable to 
think, that thefe fufferings were for us, to refcue us from that eter- 
nal agony into which we would have been irrctrivably plunged, 

had it not been for his generous interposition, -f He began 


ation ihall be made for you, and ye mall be clean from all your fins be- 
fore the Lord.* To which prayer the Priefts thus anfwered : " Let 
the honorable name of thy kingdom be praifed for ever, and ever." The 
prayer put up for the whole congregation, was as follows. 4t I befeech 
thee O Lord, thy holy people, the Ifraelitifh nation, hath finned, of- 
fended, and rebelled in thy fight ; I befeech thee O Lord, pardon now 
the fins, offences, and backflidings, whereby thy people, the Ifraelitiih 
nation, hath finned, offended, and rebelled in thy fight j as it written in 
the Law of Mofes thy Servant, where it is faid, on this day ihall expia- 
tion be made for you, and ye mail be clean from all your fins before 
the Lord." To which prayer both Priefts and people anfwered : Let 
the honorable name of thy kingdom be praifed for ever, and ettr. 
Outram. de Sac 1 if. 

H Math. xxvi. 37, 39. Mark xii. 33, 34, 35. 

Luke xxii. 43, 43, 44. 

t Thou moft indulgent, moft tremendous power, 
Sthll more tremendous for thy wonderous love ! 

Yovnc's Nickt Thovshts-. 

Let. 6. ( 126 ) 

(lays the infpired Evangelifl, Math. xxvi. 37) to he forrowful 
and very heavy. The time was approaching, was jufl at hand, 
when he was to hear the wrath, and feel the vengeance of offend- 
ed Heaven ; when he mud grapple with principalities and pow- 
ers i and fpi ritual wickedne fifes in high places. This awful prof- 
peel, flruck his holy innocent foul with an unufual terror. It 
feized him in fuch a manner, as forced him to cry out in the 
hearing of his Difcipfes, "now is my foul troubled." " The 
awful and gloomy period is now at the door, in which my foul 
muff, hear the griefs, and carry the forrows of my finning people. 
Now mull: the facrifice deprfited on the altar at my birth, he con- 
fumed, and my foul made an offering for fin. I fee the tremen- 
dous, but holy arm of my Father lifted up, and ready to flrikc 

the blow. The fword of incenfed juflice is drawn, and ready 

to pierce my heart with ten thoufand forrows. That arm, that 
fword will bring me to the dud: of death. O ye my Difciples, 
my foul is encompaffed about with forrows ! || 1 look for no com- 
fort from you, my Difciples; I expect no mitigation from your 
tears; nor the fmalleft deliverance from the hour and power of 
darknefs, by your prayers. The Son of man muft: fuffer; and 
that hour is come; it can neither be poflponed nor fhunned.— — 
The grievous nature oj" Chrifl'sfufTerings on this cccafion, is ex- 
prefiTcd by another phrafe, Luke xxii. He was in an agony. The 
word in the original is expreflive of that anxiety, and anguifh of 
mind, that a perfon endures when conflrained to undertake any 
thing of an arduous and difficult nature; particularly, it is appli- 
ed to fuch who ennage in any fevere, and bitter conflict. Hence 
in profane authors it is taken to fignify a combat. My dear One- 
fimusy Jefus the Son of God, and the Saviour of men, was now 
on the very eve of engaging in the moll fevere, and perilous 
combat ever was undertaken. Let us confider the nature, and 
number of thofe who flood in array againfl him. The captain 
of our falvation, muft enter the lifts with Heaven, earth, and 
hell : There were no idle fpe£tators on this occafion. Chrift 
flood alone ; M of the peop'e there was none with him." He Hood 


fl The word in the original language fignifies to be fo environed with 
forrows, as there can be no poffibility of cicaping; my foul is environed 
wich forrows, even unto death. How weighty, and grievous muft that 
burden have been, which brought him at that very period to the jaws of 
death. We have a fimilar phrafe in Ifai. liii. 3. He was defpifed, 
and rejected of men, a man of for rows , not a forrowful man, but in rhe 
abftract a man of forrows. There are great numbers in the world, 
who may be properly enough called forrowful men: But none in the 
ftrict fenfe of the word men of forrows. There never was, nor ever 
will be, any furrow like unto Chrift's. 

Let. 6. ( 127 ) 

the centre of the Father's wrath; the malice of Devils, and the 
rage of men. If " his own arm had not brought falvation to 
him," and if that arm had not been omnipotent too, he behoved 
either, not to have entered the lifts, or been overcome. Now 
was the important event in which God was to be glorified ; hell 
vanquished, and death overcome, and {lain in its own territories: 
Satan vanquilhed and routed with his own weapons; his dying 
caufe, brought to defti u&ion ; his half-wounded head, totally 
bruifed. But before thefe lingular events be accomplished, this 
intrepid warrior mud: fufFer, and by fuffering overcome, and by 
dying, prove the Lord of eternal life; 3rd 1 is agony deliver us 
from the accufations of a guilty confeience, and the exquifitc 
torments of that place, " where the worm dies not, and the fire 

is not quenched. The Evangelift Mark, expreiTes the great- 

nefs of his fufferings at this period by thefe two phra r es, " he 
was fore amazed, and very heavy." || Thefe phraies are expref- 
five of that horror, which makes the very foul, and renders it as 
it were fatigued under a burden of grief. They point at that 
horror and vexation, which like a heavy burden, prefTes the 
damned in hell. The Apoflle Paul informs us that he feared. 
Heb. v. 7. Who in the days of his flefti, offered up ftrong cries 
and tears, to him that was able to fave him from death; and was 
heard in that he feared, f <c He was fore amazed," fays Mark. 
This fignifies more than (imply to fear: It fuppofes a fear join- 
ed with horror: When the mind is ftruck with any thing awful, 
a kind of ftupor immediately feizes it. It is the ftupefadion of 
all the faculties of the mind; arifing from the moll pungent and 
vehement fenfe of evil, either felt, or feared, tn this fenfe Vir- 
gil hath rendered it. 

Ohflupuere animi, gelidufque per ima cucurrit, 

ofTa tremor. 

I come now to the adjuncts of this fore foul-trouble, in which 
the Son of God was involved, at this critical juncture. The firft 


II Mark xii. 33, 45. 

t Some render the phrafe thu< ; he wa^ heard in that he feared ; 1. 
€. upon the account of his pieiy, and reverence toward God. It it 
true, the term fear, is oftentimes taken in the foregoing fenfe: but I 
imagine thefe prayers and tears, were not fo much expreflive of his pi- 
ety, as the greatnefs of that amazement which on this occafion feized 
his righteous foul. The fcope of the Apoftlc, requires this fenfe of the 
words. He is here reprefenting our Lord Jefus, as one of like patfions 
with, ourfelves ; that he night inculcate this comfortable truth, that he 
was a merciful, and faithful High Pried. The fear he was feized with, 
fays Grotius, and the ancient Fathers, was owing to the divinity for a 
feafon, withdrawing its influencs from th* humanity. See Dr. Whit- 
by on the text. 

Let. 6. ( 12S ) 

ufthtfc is taken notice of by rhcliicrcd Hi dorian Luke, f "Be- 
rt m\ agony, his f\\ as it were 'Treat drops of Mood, 
ralHiig to t lie ground." Great d-vps of blood; concreted, orcon- 
;;aied, info one m i v J 1 • vas a fup:rnatural bloody fweat, 
from th it extreme anxiety, and uncommon horror 
which lei/ed the man Chrilt at th s critical period. 

Concerning this effect of ChrriVs termor and .r.niazemenf, there 
•ire various op.nion's. Sonic take it for a proverbial exprefliony 
denoting nothing more than a grievous and extraordinary 
Mveat. Others imagine, that the matter at. this fweat was not 
Mood, hut only drops of Mood uncommonly large ana vifcou:,, 
hue unto blood. Some fuppofe, the phrafe is hyperbolical, im- 
porting a very marvellous kind of fweat, bui not a bloody fweat, 
and for this reafon, becaufe the Evansjelift ufc^ this phrafe in the 
defcription of it, at it -were. But here it may he obferved, that 
the Greek particle is not always uled as a note of iimilitude ; hut 
very often exprefTes the truth andcertaintv of the thins; in hand; 
as in John i. 14. Luke xxiv. 11. 2 Corinth, xi. 17. It- 
is further queftioned, whether this bloody fweat was natural, or 
preternatural ? Some imagine it was natural,' and produce vari- 
ous inftanccs of perfons overtaken with bloody fweats. But we 
find, that when Phyficians relate- cafes of this nature, they al- 
ways affign a natural ca-ule; fuch as, the too great rarity of the 
fkin, and the too great tenuity and ferofity of the blood i together 
with a bad, and extenuated habit of body. But none of all thefe 
things could -poflibly be found in the Lord Jefus Chrifl. Being 
without fin, he poffefltdthe heft conftitution, and the moft exaci 
temperament of body. There was nothing; of theaccurfed thing 
in him, to diftarb the primary qualities, or break that excellent 
harmony, which reigned in his pure and holy tabernacle. And 
as was jufr. now obferved, he is faid to be frrrowfal, amazed, and 
very heavy: Now thefe affections certainly produce a very dif- 
ferent effect on the body. When one is feized with an uncom- 
mon dread, the natural fpirits and blood delert the exterior parts 
of the body, and fly to the heart. From the 'whole then, I think 
we are lufficiently warranted to conclude, that this bloody fweat, 
wh ; ch ieizcd the Lord Jefus Chrifl in the garden, arifmg from 
his prelent iufferings, and the future profpecl of others awaiting 
him,- was rea-lly fupernatural 

The ne*T adjund attending" our Lord's agony in the garden, 
Was the miflion of Angels fent to ftrengthen him. How incon- 
Cciveatyly great muft thefe fufferings have been, which required 
the afliftance and prefence of the heavenly Hoft ! Behold with 
aftonifhment, -Onefmus, the Lord of all Angels, Devils, and men, 
iurrounded with thefc fpiritual intelligences, {lengthening, and 

t Luke xxiii. 44. 

Let. 6. ( 129 ) 

comforting their Lord! Thcfe Angels of light, thcfe heavenly 
Miniflers, executed various, and important offices refpe&ing 
their Lord, from the time that he hecame incarnate to this very- 
period. They announced h s nativity; min>ilred unto him im- 
mediately arW his temptation in the wilderness: But now they 
descend from their celeflial manfions, the feat of tranquillity, re- 
pofe and happinefs, to behold their forrowlul, and amazed f^ord. 
and Prince, requiring their immediate aflidance. What a fcene ! 
M Thou haft made him a little lower than the Angelb," lay- 
royal Pi al mill. Were you ever, O ye Angels reduced to fuch 
a low humbled (late ? Did you ever feel the moll poignant t^rief, 
and the mod dreadful horror feizing your fouls ? No, ve Mini- 
flers of this highetl Lord, no fuch cup was ever put into your 
hands, as was put into his, fo as to require llrength and comfort, 
either from Heaven or earth. But you are to take notice Oturji- 
mus, that thcfe heavenly vifitants did not, neither could flrength- 
en their drugging Lord, by any new acceiiion of power ; They 
bore no part of the burden of iuffering, at this turn: impaled on 
him : He trod the wine prefs alone. The ancient Fathers ob- 
ferve on this head, that the Angels did not fupport, but comfort 
him : The divinity witholding at this juncture its wonted influ- 
ence from the humanity, reduced the man Chriil folow, as ren- 
dered the prefence of the Angels to comfort him, needful at 
this time. 

The lad thing I obferved which claims our attention in this 
awful fcene, was the effect that this agony had upon the man 
Chrifl, which affords a moil clear proof of the great nefs of his 
fuff*rings. He offered up the mod fervent fuppiications, with 
ftrong cries, and tears, that this hitter cup might pafs from him. || 
If the keeaell fenfe of prefent evil, and an awful apprehenfion of 
future dillrefs could influence any one, to entreat in the moil 
fervent manner, a removal of the former, and an efcape from 
the latter, the Lamb of Qod had the greated reafon fo to d^. 
He was juft now involved in the greateft conflict, but he knew 
the bloody fcene was not to terminate here; Caiviry mu:t luc- 
cced Gcthfemane : The crofs the garden : Here was bu: entering 
into the dorm: Here fell but the fmall drops; the great rain ef 
the divine wrath was referved for a future period, an 1 that at no 
great diflance. Was it any wonder, that our Lord Jefus Chnft 
(hould pray, and reiterate his prayer ? Yea, not only twice, but 
three times, doth he fend up his moil fervent fupplication to chc 
throne; and not with his eyes, cr hands lift up to Heaven, biy 

I Math. xxvi. 39. Mark xiv. 38. Luke x^ii. 42. 


Let. 6. ( T30 ) 

lying prollrate on the ground, in the mod di Icon folate condition. 
Here he lies, Oncjimus , Hot mute and filent,. but praying, and 
nor muttering prayer, hut piercin; trie fkies with hi.> voice, with 
flro.-i^ cries and tears, pouring out his foul into the bofom of his 
Heavenly Father, It it he poifible, O my Kathej, let this cup 
pals rroai me. Let the prclent agony in which mv foul is in- 
volved, he removed; let that ignominious death which 1 forcfec 
16 awaking me on the accurfed tree, re fupcrfeded; let me el- 
cape this awful hour, and power of darknefs'; hut if not, let thy 
will, not mine be clone. " The cup which my Father giveth 
me to drink, (hall I not drink it." || 

Do you afk Oneftmus, what was the genuine caulc of this ago- 
ny, trouble, and heavinefs, that feized the man Chrifl, on this 
occafion ? It is an undoubted fad, from what has been fuggefted 
above, that there was lomething exceeding grievous in his cafe, 
either felt, or feared, that thus made him prefent his fupplications 
to the Father, with fuch ardency, and to require the prefence of 
the heavenly Angels to comfort him. What this caule was, is 
n^t agreed on. Some imagine, that the foreknowledge of the 
flight and difpernon of his Difciplcs was the caufe. The Lord 
Jefus fay they, did not fear for himfelf, but for his Difciples, 
whom he t'orefaw would leave him; one of them betray him, 
another achy him. Others again, are of the opinion, that the 
(111 and rejection of the Jews, was the reafon. Others imagine, 
that this proceeded from the fore fight of the miferahle end of Ju- 
das, who for betraying him would be guilty of fuicide, and perim 
eternally. Others think, that a mere fympathy and commifera- 
tion tor loft miners in general was the occalion of this agony. 
Some again maintain*, that the thought of dying a painful, and 
ihamefui death on the crofs, begat in his holy innocent foul the 
grief, trouble, and vexation under which he laboured in the gar- 
den. In a word, fome imagine that it was owing to the appea- 
rance of the Devil in a human ihai>e,'and wreilling with him in 
the garden. 

Permit me 0>vftm:is, to enquire here whether or not, thefe 
aforefiid reafons have that folidity and weight in them, as to re- 
folve Ch ilV> a^ony in the garden into all, or any one of them 
Th it the 11 \ht and di^pcifnn of the Difciplcs could not be the, 1 think is evident from this confidcration : Had he not a 
fllorc time prior to this, recommended them into the merciful 
jfUis, and powerful protection of his heavenly Father: He in- 
tern I at they mould be all fcattered tto'irt him, and he 
left ilouc ; but that, at rhe fame time, they were in bo danger 
..g:.«.lu eternal in - prep4red. fo. chat he 

!', JfthiSfxviii. s i . 

Let. 6. 131 ) 

had appointed thcrn a kingdom, and that they fhould fit uith 
him on his throne. What anxictv then, could polTiHv po fiefs 
the hrcart, and feize the foul of their dear Lord and Matter from 
th s quarter.— —r-Neither could the apprcbenf.on of the Cv.) and re- 
jection or the Jews be the caufe : Had he not foretold their ueftruc- 
tipq, and that upon this j-iLl:, and equitable ground, their c 
en of him. Why then mould he he in fuch di r raay, for whit 
he [aw would inevitably he their ca 
think, can the difmal end of Judas be admitted as the rev 
cauie he foreknew, and predicted, the fatal end of that Son, c: 
perdition, devoted to dearh, and deftrucVion, Jrhn xyji, 12- — 
Again, the fvmpathy and concern 1 felt for [eft. pcrsfh- 
ing fanners, no doubt affected the innocent fou.1 of our L r rd J.efu ; 
but what fcafon can poiilbiy be aligned why he ihouM !>- more 
arfecled at this period, than at any other, I cannot p< fTiYjy di- 
vine ? Further, I think it entirely un . our Lord, to 

fuppofe him capable of being intimidated in the lead d.qjr e, but 
especially tobecaft into iu-h an agony, actheappearancc or Satan, 
or by any ftruggje he poflibly could have with the prince of dark- 
nefs. It would certainly have been infinitely below the C. 
of our falvation, to have been fubjec+ed to any dread at the prof- 
peel of ail the united forces of men, and Devils, in whatever fnape 
they could have accofted him. || 

Among all the different reafons which have been taken notice 
o? t into which Divines have received Chriir's agony in the gar- 
den, that, viz the forefight of that (hameful, and painful 
on thecrofs, which he law awaiting him, demands our moft pai- 
t.cular attencion. This at lead ha ; a fpecious appearance oi be- 
ing the true and genuine .aufe. But if we view this narrowly, 
we will find, that it Will in the iftue tend to cat! the high 
flection on Jefu=, to fuppofe that he fear z^.d dread w th jvbiJi 
he was Seized in the garden, originated from the view of his bo- 
dily fufferinge on thecrofs- Would net this place hum in a Scale 
far inferior to many, who have fuffered the molt cruel tormenre, 
for the cauie of truth and religion ? Kow many thoufands of ho- 
ly Martyrs, have faced death and danger, with the ercateft intre- 
pidity, alacrity, and patience; never betraying the fmaheft de- 
gree ot fear, never fupplicating for the removal of their bitter cup : 
Inftead of being agitated in the manner cur Lord was, they have 
fung in the flames, and rejoiced to embiace the; and with 
as much cheerfulnefs, refigned their life into the hands of their 


1 vide Turrent. de fatisfecV— alfo H«bden's vindication, &c. 

K a 

Let. 6. ( , 32 ) 

mcrcilcfs enemies, as if they had been going to be inverted with 
the enfigns of royalty. The crofs, the rack, the gibbet, the de- 
vouring flame, expofure to wild beads, all thefe inftmments of 
inhuman cruelty, that a wicked policy could contrive, and in- 
veterate malice put in execution, never made them fhrink; but 
with the greatcll refignation, haftcned to death, as to a triumph ; 
and with the Apoftles, praifing God, that they were counted 
worthy to fuffer death in the moll torment ine manner, for his 
name's fake. What reafon can poflinly be afligned for fuch a 
great difparity between a fuft'ering Saviour, and weak infirm 
Creatures, oftvring themfelves with cheerfulnefs, and laying 
down their lives with the greater! compofure and refolution; and 
Jcfus lorrowful, amazed, very heavy, and deprecating that bit- 
ter cup ? Was not Peter crucified, Paul beheaded, Bartholomew 
flayed alive, Laurentius tortured, Ignatius torn with wild beafts, 
without betraying the lealt appearance of fear, or impatience ? 
But behold the Son of God exceeding forrowful, at the very firil 
view of death ; pouring out prayers and tears, lying prourate on 
the ground, crying with a loud and lamentable voice to his Father, 
and at the fame time, fw eating great drops of blood. From what 
has been fuggefted above, I imagine that one of thefe two 
things mud neceflTarily follow; viz. that Chrift was more timid, 
and lets patient than others who have fuffered for the caufe of 
religion; but fuch a fuppofition would certainly be downright 
blafphemy. Or, again, that there was fome thing more grie- 
vous and extraordinary in his fufJerings than the mere appre- 
hension of his hanging on the crofs, expofed to the contempt of 
his flouting adverfaries; or having his body nailed to theaccurfed 
tree.— —Let us then more particularly enquire into the real and 
genuine caufe, from whence his agony in the garden originated. 
I imagine then Omf.mus, that it was not (imply death, and death 
on the crofs, but the accurfed death of the crofs that was obvious 
to him at this period, a foretafte, or preli^ation of which, he was 
jutt now, in the mod awful manner, experiencing. He lees the 
(ins, not of one, but of myriads with all their pofiiblc aggrava- 
tions, mnftered up, and meeting on him, and as the furety of 
G d's people charged to his account. He now behold? himfelf 
filled before the formidable, but jufl tribunal of nn offended De- 
it v, in rhe prrfon of the Father; fr^m which he could neither 
fly, nor p llihly be refcued, otherwife, than by fatisfying the 
utmoit claim of juftice; which was, that feeing he became re- 
fponhble for the expiation of our guilt, he muft fuffer all that 
-rath, and curie, which was the demerit of our fin. And* 
V Who knowsThe power of that wrath." " It is a fearful 
thine to fall into the hands of th: iivine God." In what an aw- 

Let. 6. ( 133 ) 

ful condition doth the fuffcring Saviour find himfelf involved. 
Never did divine judice appear to he more exa£t, nor the law 
more rigid : It was given in thunder, fmoke, fire, and lightning ! 
Bu' that was nothing equal to the dreadful ftorm which fell upon 
the Lord of glory, in fulfilling its demands. Never did that 
righteous law thunder in fuch horrid peals in the ears of any, as 
now it doth in Chrift's. f< Curfed is every one that continueth 
not in ail things written in the book of the law to do them." 
Chrift was fuhjected to the curie. Sinners violated the law, 1 ut 
they could make no reparation. The curfe would inevitably 
have taken hold on them, if the Son of God in our nature had 
not condefcended to bear it in our room and ftead. " But Chrift 
was made a curfe for us."- Never did hell appear in fuch a 
wrathful form as juft now. HelPs gates were fet open ; its curl- 
ed inhabitants in their turn, and according to their meafure, 
were permitted to torment, and afflict the Lord Jefus. His heel 
muft as neceffarily be bruifecf, as the Devil's head broken.-? — — 
Were not thefe awful circum (lances enough, yea more than 
enough, to have fhook the whofe frame of an innocent fufTering 
Saviour ? Were no' thefe things furficient to make him amazed, 
forrowfui, yea exceeding forrowi'ui, even unto death ? 

Permit me Onefimus, to take a comparative view of the death 
of Chrift, and that of the Martyrs, who have laid down their lives 
for the truth, and if we can not find more bitter ingredientsin his 
death, than in theirs, I think we muft entertain but a very con- 
temptible idea of the fufTering Siviour, in the view of his diflblution, 
Chrift feared, was amazed, and exceeding forrowfui; the Mar- 
tyrs rejoiced and gloried in their fuflfcring: No complaints pro- 
ceeded from their lips; no forrow hung on their brow; no wifti 
to have their torments mitigated, nor the fen ten ce fufpended. 
But I proceed to draw the parallel between the one, and the 
other in the few following particulars. 

Although the Martyrs were finful men, yet they had the full- 
eft afTurancc that God was reconciled to them by the death of 
his Son, fo as they never fliould be obnoxious to condemnation ; 
and that although they fuflfered, it was not to difcharge the debt 
of fin they had contracted j it was not to fulfil any demand of 
divine juftice; but for the., glory of God, and to feal the truth 
which they had efpoufed, and op< nly profefTed. This would have 
been an xafy death to Chrift; if this had been all, if there had 
been no other ingredients in it, we never would have heard of 
his agony in the garden, nor his famentation on the crofs. But 
drift, although perfectly holy, and abfolutely free of fin, perfo- 
ifally confidered, yet he was reckoned among tranfgtcflbrs; and 



• Let. 6. ( 134 ) 

account to God by puniftiment, for our fins imputed to 
him. {here was no fuch thing in thedeatfi of the Martyrs. 

rryrs fuffered only by the hands of men. Notwtthftandmg 
ot all men could Lnflj&, they ft:!l experienced G^d propiti- 
ous. When men fi owned, Heaven i'milcd ; when 
nun persecuted, God Supported. They beheld fome thins: of 
Heaven's ptory, and felt fomething of Heaven's happinefs, even 
in the midft of the fhmes. This capacitated them to lay down 
their lives with com oof u re, and rcfign up their fpirits into the 
of their heavenly Father, with joy. But Chrift not on- 
ly flittered at the hands of men, hut by the hand of his Father. 
" It pleaied the Lord to bruife him : ' " God fpared him not." 
How dreadful mult the punifhment be, when it proceeds imme- 
diately from the hand of an offended God ! That mud be an 
awful blow, which the hand of the Almighty gives. 

Martyr? only fuffcred corporally : Inwardly they were fupport- 
ed, and their fouls rcfrefhed by the comforts and confolations of 
the Holy Ghoft, which are neither few nor fmall ; and who, even 
in the midft of the furnace made the dew of Heaven to lie on 
their branches. This prevented them from finking under the 
burden; made them fing in the midft of the flames, and triumph 

before the conflict was over But Jefus fuffered in his foul, 

as well as in his body. " My foul is exceeding forrowful, even 
unto death." No comfort for a time, was afforded this Lamb of 
God. His Difciples forfook him, his friends ftood aloof from his 
lore; and to crown all, he was forakch of his Father. Were 
there any forrows like unto his forrows, wherewith the Lord af- 
flicted him ? The fufferings of his foul, were the foul of his fuf- 
ferings. " The Spirit of a man will fuftain his infirmities, but 
a wounded Spirit, who can bear," is an aphorifm cf the wifeft 
among men. 

The Martyrs were fully fenfible, and morally certain of this, 
that they had no more to do, than pay the debt of nature. They 
knew that O.rift had both purchased and promiied eternal life; 
they believed the former, they embraced the latter. — But Chrift 
had to itnirrqle, both with temporal, and eternal death. The 
s of fin, which he was now about to pay, included both. 
And although he neither did, nor could fuffer eternally, yet rus 
fuffcrings were equivalent to the torments which all his faved, 
and redeemed people would have fuffered, eternally in Hell. — 

Again, the Martyrs drank the cup of fuffering indeed; but 
the bitternefs was extracted by Jefus, fo that there remained 
nothing deadly, or hurtful in it to them.-— But the cup put 
Chrift's hand was full of mixture. What can be more bitter 
than fin? More awful than wrath ? But thefe were the compo- 


Let. 6. ( 1.35- ) 

Cti«o in Cbri-fVs cup. In a woid, Martyrs fought with death, 
with S^tan, and a?! his emifTiries, *mt as overcome, and alrea- 
dy virtually conquered. In the imuft of their moll fevere ftru£-- 
chs, and ! itterett agonies they migr'nt triumphantly fmg, " O 
D.-ath w v tUng.!" But Chrift had to combat with death, 

and h;m that had the prjwer of it, in all their vigour. You lee 

de'y d.fF.'rent was the death of Jefus, from that 
of 'he Martvrs; ^o:h in its canle, m afure, and end. They 
fufFered fry die haul? of men, Jefus immediately by the hand of 
Gxl: The fufl£ e- wee only medicinal; thofe 

or" the latter purely penal, 

-, jml a~ nifned the laft fenrencc, a rap was 

made at the door, a "id bein :d, my fricn i / made 

his appearance. J in.\ n in, and after our u r ual compli- 

ments were over, he, deeming what 1 had been engaged in, po- 
lite y afked, if I would favor hi:n !o far, as to read the contents 
of mv letter to you; without any demur, I iaftanriy complied. 
He begged leave after I had done, to aik a few questions, mere- 
ly lor his further information on th.e fu*»jec)L i to'd him, that 
he was we-come to p^r>n-e anv quefpon, or ftart any difficult}", 
on this, or any other iubjeci he tjiought proper, and that accord- 
ing to my roeaiure of light and knowledge, 1 fhould anfwer the 

one, and refolve the other. Accordingly, he propoied this 

query: " How could Chrift the Son of God be obnoxious to 
'•' fuch fear and horror, when at that very moment, he knew he 
" was the o-bjecl ofthe Facher's complacency, and delight; and 
" bei;\g men; how could he experimentally feej his wrath and 
" indignation r How was it poliibfe, that he who itood in fuch 
" a near relation to the Father, and as dear to him as himfelf, 
" oo educed to fuch a difir-a) ftate, as to fweat great drops 

" of blood, and require the miniftration of Angels. ?" 

Superbus, in anfwer to your query, let me oMerve, that the 
Lord J^fus Chrifh is to be conftdcred in a twofold capacity, as 
Gcd's eternal, only begotten, and v::\\-' eloved Son; or, as our 
Mediator, clothed in human nature, and made like unto his hre- 
thren in all things, Cm excepted. In the former refpecl, Chriit 
was the beloved of the Father, with whom he was ever well 
pleafed, znd with whom he never could he di'pLaicd ; but confi- 
dering him as our Surety, bearing cur fins, he muft be made a 
curfe, and experimentally tafte of all the bitter ingredient? of 
that cup of fuffering which was put into his hands. H-re fnone 
in the mod brilliant Inure, the greatefl love, and the great$ft ha- 
tred sgai . at the"fame trnse : Love to him, who was toe 
brig the divine glory, in whom all holinefs, needier i , 
cflentiahy, ana independently dwells; and at the fame time, 


Let. 6. ( 136 ) 

upon him as Mediator, pouring out the viaU of his wrath, and 
indignation; " putting him to grief;" *' making hrs foul an 
offering for fin." From thefe two diftinct views of JcfUs, you 
can eafily reconcile theft two ideas, which at firft fight feem in- 
comp.uahlc. This is an eternal truth, that Jefus was from eter- 
nity, and will continue to endlcfs ages, invariahly, and immuta- 
bly the fuprcme object of the Father's delight; and vet it is as 
true, that " he was ftricken, fmitten of God and afflicted;" thaj 
he made him fm, and a curie for us. He loved him as a Father, 
punifhed him as a righteous Judge, heforc whofe trihunal, he as 
Mediator, clothed in our nature, lifted himfelf, toanfwer tor our 
offences, and to make expiition f t our (ins hy his death ** — r- 
Superbus enquired again' . ■ " How could Chnfl he under fuch 
" a fear and dread, when he could not hut be morally certain, 
M that he would in the iffue, obtain a glorious triumph." 

You know Superbus, that the affections of hope and fear, work 
alternately upon the mind in their turn, according to the object 
prefented immediately to the mind. If the object in view be 
agreeable, hope takes place, from which fprings up prefent joy ; 
hut if the object in view be difagreeable, fear is engendered, and 
fr^m this originates prefent dejection : Thefe two affections are 
always contrary, the one to the other: And obferve here, that 
any prc(cn\: evil ftrikes the mind immediately, with far more 
energy, than a future good, although the pofTefiion of it is beyond 
all doubt : For whatever is prefent, affects the mind more, than 
what is only in futurity, be what it will. When ever grief or 
fear is the ruling pailion, it fo abforbs the mind that it fcarcely 
looks forward to the good in reverfion, or contemplates on any 
thing which might tend in the mean time, to alleviate the pre- 
fent diftrefs. e.g. If a kingdom was promifed to a man upon this 
condition, that he endure the torment of the rack for a certam 
limited time; it is certain, that the man would be fo much ab- 
forbed with his prefent fuffering ftatc, as would deprive him of 
every pleafant idea which might be fuppofed to occupy his mind, 
from the confideration of his future princely grandeur : For fomc 
fhort fpxc of time there is a fufpenfion of all the plea- 
fant fenfations of the mind. Let me now apply this to the 
c.\fc in hand. Chrift had a twofold object in view; the curfed 
death of the crofs ; this he could not fhun : The way to the 
crown, was by the crofs. He had alio in his view, a certain 
glorious triumph and vi6tory. He knew that he would certain- 
ly fwallow up death in victory : And that although, however 
low he might be reduced, in due time he would lift up the head. 
Thefe objects were productive of the affections of grief, and fear, 
hope, and joy. When reflectirtg on that dreadful fea of wrath 


Let. 6. ( 137 ) 

he had to go through, he could net but fear, and He arr.-i^-rd j 
ofeath before him in its moft hideous, and grim appearan. 
But at the *ame time, hie faw that he would glotioufly {until 
what he had oegun. That he wou'd glorify his eter.ial Fat ; 
nurchafc an eternal redemption for his (tea; ard at the lame 
time, overturn the Devil's kingdom. Thefe confKUratiorvs u^>- 
ported his hope, and excited his joy. You will find thele affec- 
tions alternately, andalmoft infrantaneouflv fuccceding one ano- 
ther, in John xii. 27. Now is my foul trouhled, and what Ih.ill 
I fay : Father fave me from thi:* hour His m ; nd juft now was 
fo fwallowed up with forrow and dread of that di r ma! hour, 
which was-almoft at the very door, that the affa&ions of hope, 
and joy, for a faort fpace lay dormant : But in a moment, Fe*- 
. tlcc~ting upon the end for which he was lent into the -wot Id, and 
the happv and glorious iffue his miniftrations here on earth would 
have, hope and joy immediately fucceed ; " But for this end„ 
(he criet out in a tranfport of joy, and triumph) came I into. the 
world." " If it he poflible, let this cup pals from me; never- 
theless not ray will, hut thine he done." From- thefe things 
vou can eafily account for that fear and dread which feized the 
man Chritt, and that in a confiftency with the certain hope and 
expectation, of obtaining a compleat victory. 

Svperbus again enquired, (< how Chnlt could he laid to be 
" heard, according to the expre r s declaration of an A poll e, 
U Heb. v. 7. and alfo of himfeif, John xi. 42. when we fee, 
f. that he drank the bitter cup, the oSiecl: of his dread and terror, 

" and that without anv mitigation V SuperLus, there were 

two things which Chrift a* man -might tear, {for you kn^w he 
was made like unto us in al thing?,) that he might be fwallowed 
up hv thefe luff: rings, which he faw impending over his innocent 
guilt!e ,s hewd; or that he misfit Uic.curab under tlxrm. Hi* God 
and Patter heard, and delivered him from all iheic fears; 10 
: hat with the moil invincible conftancy, he bo;e the moil grie- 
vous torments, and obtained a moll glorious refurrection from 
••he dead, and a moiVemnent triumph over him that had the pow- 
er of death. It is an undoubted, combrtable truth, that Chriit. 
was heard in that he feared; not, that he fhould net futfer, but 
fhat he ihould not be fwallowed up of his fuffc rings; not, that he 
fhould not drink the bitter cup, but that he mould not perifh/in 
the attempt. 

Philemon, from the account you have given of ChriiVs agony 
in the garden, I think this conclufion mud necelTarily fol'ow, 
viz. that Chrift was truly man, bone of our bone, and flefb of 
our fiefii; the offspring, as -well as the root of David; David's 
T,on, as well as his Lord. The Deity being impamble, thefe ex- 

Let. 6. ( 138 ) 

treme fufferings which he underwent in the g irden, behoved tn 

be the fufferings of his human nature Were there not fcunc 

of the ancient Fathers, who were of the opinion, that upon the 
account of the uricl union hetween the divine, and the human 
nature in ChrifPs perfon, that all his fuflferings, whether in the 
garden, or on thecrofs were only in appearance, nn<i not in rea- 
lity: That his hody as it was incorruptible, fo it was impaffibie r 
They, if I mdlake not compared (Thrift's hody to fire* and the air, 
which when one ftioots an arrow through thefe elen. di- 

vides the parts without leaving a wound. Superbus, it is fcarce 
worth any one's time, or pains to refute fuch an abfurd, and notion. Nothing can he more deftitotc of truth, and 
contrary to the univerfal language of thefacred writers ontkii head. 
I may juft obferve to you, that this opinion was publiciy con- 
demned by the unanimous confent of the whole Church — ~Per^ 
mit me Superbus y to make this one obfervation in connexion with 
yours, vix. that the fuffermgs of Chrift, in the garden, and on 
the crofs, as they were entirely incident to the human nature, (<y 
they militate nothing againft his fupreme Deit\ : He was the- 
true God, as well as man ; •« God manifed in the flcTh." The 
Logos, that was made fleih, and tabernacled among us* was in 
the beginning, from eternity with God, and ivt only To, but 
was truly, and really God. || He was man to foffer, God to fa- 
tisfy ; man to die, God to triumph over death. Suffnnsr. in fin 
der to rctnftate finners in the favour of God, and procure the 
happinefs which they loft, was unavoidably rcqmuTe, from the 
fanefcity of the divine nature, and righteoufnefs of the d.vine '.; 
and that in the nature which finned. Sin objectively on&ctewd, 
rs an infinite evil; no atonement therefore foi fin c^u!d i>e a 
mitted, but what was of an infinite nature, this theretore, o^: 
only be made by an infinite perfon. Therefore, in order that 
the mrerefts of holinefs mould not fuffcr, and that the nghuonf- 
Jiefs ot the law (hould remain inviolate, it was a'^olutely nui 
fite, that fatisfatSlion fhould he made in, and by the nature t 
finned. 'The Eternal Word was incarnate; and thus, the <: 
pf his perfon, in union with the human nature th;: • a, * 

anfwered ail the claim of law and jutVice agamft us, Jtnd ac the 
fame time, fecured an eternal redemption for us. kit impofii* 
hie to conceive, how atonement for an. itififtitt oiTQncc.cC'Uld ' e 
made by the Saviour of the Brians, and Socinians. . They are 
reduced to this predicament, (which 1 am fure nvyjxJcar FiK-nd, 
you would never wiih to be,) t€ make an atantnKnt tor their 
own fouls ? If men are their own Saviour*, there. mufUje - 

ny Saviours, as there are men laved; but.^bcL Sqri|>fcu<v ta 

!l John i. i, 14. 

Let. 6. ( i& ) 

knows of one : It knowsc»f no other name, direcT ther 

thing, hut the name, and fatisfacticn cf Jcfus, Further* it is 

very difficult to conceive, v much, 

viewing him only in the li^hf cf a ' 1 not 

as a vicarious facrihee, r . 

I think PkiLmon, from the Celerity of ChJinVj n the 

garden, we mav warrant. ibly conclude , and a 

hitter thing. Is it not tn re lamented, that there fhouki exift in 
the chriftan world fuch fools as to make a mock of fin, arid drink 
it in, as the ox doth the water, wire pleasure, and gieedinefs.— ■ 
A few days a^o, I overhear ,1 a company in the height of good 
humour, difputing about an .y T r: iviai natuie. I was 

aftoniihed to hear fuch repeated oaths, curfing, and even blaf- 
phemv, which efcaped them the. ihort time I overheard them. 
You would have imagined that he!'; had opened its mouth, and 

fpewed out its inhabitants. Sometimes foeafimg by iV&fgrtat 

and dreadful name, the Lord .r God! Sometimes hv that adorable 
rerfon Jefv?, who came upon this benign errand Urfs^t nnners ! 
Sometimes by the Holy Qbojl the 'ancTrier, whp m the eeconomy 
of redemption purifies, and makes ficfrters meet to he partakers 
of the inheritance of the Saints in !rght I Tell it not in Gath, 
puMiih it not in the ftree :- of Aftciom, that men, that rhriftians, 
that chriftians who expefifc faivation, ftioufd thus (i let then- 
mouths againft the Heavens, in their I jons taSk". How 
horrid, thus to revile, and pour the utmofr. conrempt on the 
ever-blefled Trinity ! And do \\ich men expect ia!vr,tion ? Can 
they be faved ? The Almighty and righteous Jtid^e? has already 
pronounced their doom. Hear it ye iVearers, and tremHc ; hear 
k and repent. <( The Lord m grui'tlels that 
taketh his name in vain r" A ad turned flale, 
thev var ; ed their language, ar.d entered urran the fin of 
eurfing. It was no pain to them to pronounce, what, J trem- 
ble to repeat the awful fenteace, damnation! J.. . Some- 
times on themfelves, on their feJlo* n;on% and femetimes 

on objects incapable of it 1 thunder* repeat the half of what 

I overheard. ■ And mount the throne, and (it 

as Judges, and pafs a fern belong Ally to the fove- 

reign of all things to pronounce. I wa make my elope- 

ment as foon as pofilMc to be out el their hearing. O ! what a 
place mud hell be, when finners only on the way to it are fo 
abandonedry wicked \ T^is teems to he one of the predominant fins 
of thrsage; a (in taking it in all its circumilances, there can 
be none greater; it is an offence immediately againit Heaven; a 
fin which openly proclaims the perpetrator detlitute of all vital reli- 
gion. Can that man poffihly fear the Lord our God, who upon 


Let. 6. ( 140 ) 

the mod trivial occafion, fummons the great Gocf to be his yi ^ - 
nefs ? Did that man firmly believe, that G«>d was able to plunge 
him into deftruction that very moment, would lie imprecate this 
on his own guilty head ? A common fwearer, is a downright 
Athieft : He denies at once, all the perfections of Deity; and 
alas I impofes on his own wretched foul. An external profetuon 
of religion inftead of mitigating, greatly aggravates the horrid 
crime. Will ye (leal, murder, and commit adultery, and fwear 
falfly, &c. and come, and ftan,d in this houfc which is called by 
rny name, and fay, we are delivered 10 do all thefe abominati- 
ons, fl Thefe nien of whom the Lord here complains, ran on ji> 
a. courfe of impiety, yet they were profeflors of God\ name : 
They went to his houfc, they ftood in his prefenee; but the lan- 
guage of this mock profeflion was, we are delivered to do at! 
thefe abominations f What an unfeemly thing in God's hou r e^ 
perhaps at a (acramerital tabic, a jolemnfoce with a profane heart. 
In my opinion, to ftt up the image of gaal, t Q f a f| down, and 
worlriip that Jdol, would not be a fin fo heinous in its nature, a> 
it is for chriftians to profane that bleffed, and glorious name, 
whereby they are called.— ?How guilty Pbikn*Qn y are common 
fwearers of the atrocious and horrid fin of perjury ; if a man was 
afraid to be guilty of this Heaven-daring iniquity, how cautious 
and deliberate would he be, before he ventured to affirm any 
thing upon oath. Would he not confider, whether it were ex- 
actly true; whether ifr were certain, or only probable; whether 
he was. not liable to millake, or m information in the cafe ; and 
liiiauy other things which are necefFary to be confide red before hr 
would fwear to it. But is it not as clear as fyn fhinc, that con\~ 
jnon fwearers trouble themfclves with none of thefe thou;! 
What they fay at a venture, they boldly (wear to; what they 
raftily utter, they as ra'(h!v add raths and imprecation.- -o it 
Common fwearers are habitus Hy guilty of perjury; for ajthoi 
they pfeafe themfclves with thiakir\g they Iwcar m jeff, yet fuch 
may atTure themf elves, that the oMigati' n of an na\h cann' i 
laughed away'. When men will fwear to do -this, or. tl 
thing, which it may be the} intend ivn ai r thai In 

thing is true, which they know to be fajfe i they are nevertheless 
guilty of perjury, for not considering that they are C<\ The ftu- 
pidity of a man's conscience will never make f\n ceaieto I 
it is. If men would but weigh the truth of every thing they af- 
firm, before they venture to fwear it, they would fparc a great 
number of their oaths: And if they found it was exactly true, 
they would be immediately fenHble that it deferred not fuch a 

II Jerem. ix iS. 

Let 6. ( 141 ) 

folemn confirmation, and be afhamed of the finful vanity of 
fwearine td no purpofe. 

1 think. Philemon , that the fwearer is guilty of the greateft 
immodefty, pride, and arrogancy of fpirit. There are few things 
which feem more difgufting in a man than to affirm every thin<r 
with confidence, and be peremptory in all his talk: This is to 
impofe upon his company, and leave no room for any one elfe to 
he of a contrary mind; fuch companions fhould, and generally 
:re, fliuned by all wife men, as being void of that modeily, and 
fobrietv, which render men fociable, and convertible. But what 
ihall we fay of thofe, who are not onlv pofaive arid dogmatic in 
their common difcourle, but alTert every thing with the folemni- 
ty of an oath. Certainly, there is as much of rudenefs and ill- 
manners towards men, as there is wickednefs in the fight o{ 
God by fuch conduct. — Common f wearing argues the greater! 
vanity, and lightnefs of mind. Is it not plain, that the greateil 
part of our conversation, and correfpondence with one another, 
requires no fuch a thing as the iolcmnity of an oath for the con- 
firmation of what we either affirm, or deny. This being the 
greateft fecurity we can give, he mud be a very light-headed 
wretch, who will throw it out at every turn. He cannot teli 
what he did yefterday, or make a promife to his friend to day, 
but out comes an oath, or an imprecation to confirm it ; he mull 
call God to witnefs by invoking his.jufVice, and vengeance, if 
what he lays is not true, or if he do not fulfil his engagement to 
his friend. He doth more in this cafe, than if lie would call 
town and country, to be witnefs againft him, if he proved falfe 
to his word ; nay more, than if he was to call all the Angels in 
Heaven to witnefs between him, and his neighbour. For my 
own part, I am apt to fu ! pe£r. every one that deals his oaths, and 
curfes fo liberally and freely ■■ « Pbi!tmor, I am afraid that I 
have tranfgrevTed on your patience; but the truth is, I can ne- 
ver enter on this fubjeci without teftifying my utmoft deteftati- 
on at fuch a horrid practice —I propofe to morrow, (if the 
Lord wi.'l.,) to call on you, to hear your thoughts on ChnrVs 
fufferinss in the garden^ wh:ch you prnpofe fending to your 
friend Onehrmis, fo faying*^ he went home. 

My dear On./imuf, I am very glad, and I am fure fo are you, 
to find Suferbm fuch a profeifed enemy to that \$x> common prac- 
tice of fwcaring. There is a cuftom very prevalent amon~ ma- 
ny, who yet cr-nnot be ranked among the clafs of habitual hvear- 
crs ; viz. exclaiming upon certain occafions, particularly, when 
in a furprife, or fright; good God ! Lord have mercy on us I 
gracious Heaven ! This is a flagrant breach of the third com- 
mandment. What is it, but a taking of God's iiame in vain ? 


Let. 6. ( 142 ) 

When wc pray, Jet us ■" enter into cur clofet'y, ftvqt our doors 
up-m us, and our heavenly Father which fecth in lecrct, (hall re- 
ward us openly." Our ciofcts are certainly by far the bell place, 
and it may rationally be iuppofed that we are in a far better, and 
mc r 'ed Frame of fpint, than when in a furprife. Let us, 

my dear friend, never learn the way of the wicked; let us copy 
after ChriiVs example, letus follow his footitepk: Let as enter- 
tain an habitual and de<:p impreltion 0! his fufferings and agony, 
in order to learn this leflon, what a viieandan execrable thins; fin 
w. Let us never make Jefus the minifter of fin, by a (info I courfe 
of life. If fuch thin^, were done in the green tree, what will be- 
come of the drv. If the Son or* God was in fuch an agony in 
fuiTerinsj for fin, and that oniy by imputation}, what a dreadful 
agonv mud fuch be reduced to. whomuft to eternity, lie under 
the dreadful load of innumerable perfonal tranfgreffions, and 
that wrath or which none knows the power ! But fuch an into- 
lerable burden awaits all the wicked. " The wicked fhall be 

turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God." That 

my Oneftmus may be preferved from the evil of an evil world, and 
prefented faultlefs, and blamelefs, before the throne of the di- 
vine glory, is the moil cordial prayer of 



Dear Oneftmus, 

WHAT was fuggefted yefterday by my friend Superbnt, with 
regard to the evil of fin, particularly, that Heaven-daring 
fin of curing, and fwearing, left fuch an impreffion on my mind, 
as to determine me to fift this fubjetl to the bottom; to fee if pof- 
iible to find out the reafon and"fpring v . from whence this feigning 
evil originates. — I find, that fome addicted' to this crime, add a 
kind of an appendix to their rafti oaths, containing a (hort pray- 
er that God would forgive them, for faying foandfo; and bj a 
monftrous fort of copula join fwearing and prayer together. 

Strange, that out of the fame mouth, and particularly, at Ifcc 
fame time, mould -proceed bleffing, and curfing ! To pray far 
pardon in the very a£t of (inning, is certainly not the raoft like- 
ly way to obtain it. What a heterogeneous mixture I What 



Let. 7. ( 143 ) 

do TulIi men think ? Will God be flattered and fawned into for- 
giveness : The fame thing may be affirmed of every one, who 
goes on in a courfe of any kind of immorality, and continues his 
devotions, and prefents his fupplication to God for pardon. He 
continues praying, but never quits finning. Thus alternately 
praying, and finninc;, ferving God, and Baal, until he finimes 
his wretched courfe, and drops into the hands of the living God. 
I think no body will pretend that oaths tend to a man's health, 
or to the increafe of his worldly fubftance ; that they give his 
wme a better flavour; eafe his pains, or give a zeft to his pleafure^. 
Seeing then, no fuch pretentions can be made, one would be al- 
moft tempted to think, that men take a pleafure in fwearing, 
juft becauie God forbids it ; And that they are determined, if he 
mould make them the objects of his vengeance, they will affront 
him to his face !— Some pretend that fwearing embellifhes, and 
ornaments a man's difcourie; fets off his language, and if well 
placed, .makes a ientence run better : This goes a great way with 
fome. What a wicked excufe ; what a hcrrid pretext ! " Let 
your fpeech, (fays an infpired penman,) be always with grace." 
If fwearing fets off a difcourfe before men, how I pray, does it fct it 
off before God ? The beft ornament ever graced any fpeech, 
when it turns upon the point either of affirming, or denying, is 
yea and nay ; " and whatfoever is more than thefe Cometh of 
evil." Do fuch as are guilty of this horrid impiety, credit this ? 
If they do not, they call the amen, the faithful, and true witnefs 
a liar; if they do, how do they imagine, they will be able to 
confront that injured majeity, and anfwer for fuch a prefumptu- 
ous breach of the third commandment ? — Some have another 
pretext ; they will not be believed, (fay they) unlefs they fwear. 
What is the import of this, but a confeifion that they have been 
fo notorioufly given to lying, that no body will credit them upon 
their bare word. A man who is known to make conference of 
fpeaking truth, will find little difficulty of creating a belief of 
what he fays among any of h.s acquaintance, without an appeal 
to God: Befides, the oath of a common fwearer, gives indeed 
but little afTurance of the truth of what he fays. If I knew a 
man to fear an oath, his oath would farisfy me beyond any other 
reftimony that could be given, and upon the oath of fuch a man, 
a c nirt of judicature may pioceed with confidence; but what 
remand I p r ay, can reafonably be paid to his oath, above h;s bare 
word, who is known to fwear on all occaiions ? Little affurance 
•wc.caa.have of the truth upon his oath, becaufe it is ascuftoma- 
Ty for him to fwear as to fpeak. || — The ufuai excufe for the ex- 
jj In Athens, a common fwearer's oath was not allowed nor accepted 
I oi in courts of judicature ; and fometimes the funpie teftimonyofa 
man of probity was admitted without it. 

Let. 7. ( 144 ) 

formation of this fin i<, that of fuddcn paflion. When men arc 
a Ittlc provoked, they burfl out prefentl) iiUo oaths and impre- 
cations, and pretend they cannot help it ; for they had no other 
way to difcharge their minds, and ^ive vent to their pauVns, hut 
hycurlin'r and fwcacing How common is it for men while they 
frame an exeu'e for one fi», to 'vtray themfelvcs guilty of ano- 
ther. Is nor this a plain token of an impotent mind, that hath 
no rule over itfelf; but is hurried away with intemperate palli 
qtn, which ought to he matter of fhame to a rational creature ; and 
much more to fuch, who pretend to he the Difciples of Jefus. 
The .wrath of man worketh not the righteoufnefs of God 
Sometimes an excufe is pied, that men fwear out of cuflom, and 
compliance toothers. This carries in it indeed a (how of civilU 
cy, and good nature; but for all that, it is the (illicit excufe that 
can be imagined} it is an evidence of a mean degenerate mind; 
for although, in things of an innocent and indifferent nature, it 
is commendable for men to remit fomething of their own way 
and humour, and to fuit themfelves to the cufloms and manners 
of thole with whom they areconverfant ; yet to be complaifant in 
all things, without exception, is the ready way to turn men as 
profligate, as the Devil would wifli any one to be.— In a word, a 
very common way of excufing rath fwcaring is by pleading habit. 
This implies in it I think, the greateft evil of this nature that pof- 
fibly can be. Why it is juft to confers, that a man is guilty of 
this fin in the higheft: degree. An evil habitual cuftom is the 
very height of wickednefs. A man may, through the ftrength 
of corruption, the tempatations of Satan, in an unguarded hour 
fall into fin, but when fin becomes habitual to him, it conflirutes 
him a (inner in the higheft. degree. Is it not a wonder my dear 
friend, that men are fo wicked; and is it not a greater wonder 
that God is fo long-fuffcring: After fo many prayers and in- 
trcaties that Heaven would do its word; and its word is, to fend 
the n to deftruction which they feem fo eagerly to implore. 

1 leave this difagreeahle preamble, and turn to a moil: .extraor- 
dinary fcene; a fcene which, although mocking to behold, yet 
has a moll glorious, and comfortable profpect with regard to us. 
I have already given you my fentimenrson the nature of Chrift's 
agony in the garden; I, therefore now proceed according to my 
promife, to trace our Lord's fufferings on the accurfed tree; par- 
ticularly, that part of them which confided in his dereliction of 
the Father. In the whole of Chrid's humiliation and fuffering 
date, the grievous nature of fin, God's wrath, together with the 
ineffable greatnefs of his love fhine forth in the mod radiant co- 
lours, and difp'ay themfelvcs in the mod eminent manner 3frtf 
degree; and particularly, in the fufferings of Chrid's foul. Thefe 


Let. 7. 145 ) 

may be vi-wed, as commencing in the garden, and completed 
on. the crofs. Wrth regard to the former, I have already deliver- 
ed my mind. I proceed now, to fpeak of that hour, and power 
of darknefs which overtook the divine Saviour on the crofs : And 
this will afford 1 imagine, an invincible argument that Chrift' 5 
fufterings, particularly in the garden, and on the crofs, were tor 
our fins; and fo his death was a true, real, and expiatory facri- 
hce making an at- nement to God for us. 

As CbrifVs defe:tion on the crofs is the particular circum flange 
which I defijn to dwell a little on ; it may he obferved when 
Chrift complained of this. According to the inspired Evangc- 
lift it was about the ninth hour, || i. e. near \h* termination or 
that darknefs, which commenced about the fixth hour; and con- 
fequcntly, Jailed about three hoars, f There behoved certainly 
to be iome weighty reafon to move the God of nature to act fo 
contrary to the eftablifned laws of nature on this occafion. Per- 
S to point out the grievous and horrid nature of the Jews act 
in crucifying the Lord of glory. This was fuch a crime, fo atro- 
cioufly wicked, that the fun itfelf blulhed to behold ; or perhaps, 
this was intended as a prelude of that future deftruction, await- 
ing the Jcwiih nation; particularly, that judicial blindnefs and 
darknefs, which an all-wife, and fovercign God fhut them up in 
for a time, Rom. ix. or to b$ a figna! to his enemies and perfe- 
cutors, yea to the whole world, to whom the report ihould come, 
that he who fufFered was more than man, " God mani fefted in 
theflefh;" or faftly, to evince and point out the greatnefs cf 
Chriil's fufferings; the fun cf righteoufnefs fet in an eclipfe. 
May be, that external darknefs which inveloped the world on 
this occafion, was an emblem of that darknefs, fcrrow, and erief 
which feized the innocent foul of this glorious fufferer. Near 

il Math, xxvii. 45. 

t " There was darknefs over all the land; either over the whole 
land of Judea, or over the whole Roman Empire, or oyer the whole 
world; the latter is mod probable." According to Tertullian, this re* 
markable event was recorded in the Roman archives } the very period 
in which it happened taken notice of, viz. the 262 Olympiad, which 
refers to the 1 8th year of the reign of Tiberias Csefar ; in which year 
Chrift fuffered. That this extraordinary darknefs happened in Egypt, 
Dionyfius teftifies : Which, when he obferved, he cried out, " that either 
the world was at an end, or the God of nature fuffered." It is certain, 
that this eclipfe was extraordinary and miraculous, as it happened at full 
moon^a folar eclipfe never happening, nor according to the courfe of 
nature, can, but when the moon is about the time of her change. 

Let. 7. ( 146 ) 

the termination of this darknefs r Jefus poured out his complaint 
My God, my God, zvby hajl thou forjaken me. All nature feemed 
to he feized with a general conflernation ; no wonder, never did 
there fuch a Icene happen. Greater darknefs, than that which 
overwhelmed the world, feized the Jews at this critical period, or 
elfc, they behoved tohavefecn, and acknowledged that he whom 
they were crucifying was the Lord of Glory. 1 Corinth, ii. 8. 
All nature feemed to feci, except the hardened Jews Here weie 
no idle fpe&ators; Heaven, earth, and hell, were all concerned. 
The earth (hook, the fun hid his face; the vail of the temple 
was rent in twain, From top to bottom. The holy of holies, 
which no eye ever law, and into which no human foot durftever 
enter, but the h'rgh Prieft, and that only once in the year, wis 
now laid open to every fpe&ator. Heaven frowned, exa&cdour 
debt of punifhment at the hand of this fuffering Lamb of God. 
" God fparednot his own Son." Hell fhook to its centre; now 
was that bleflTed sera come, when that ancient prediction, (almoft 
coeval with the entrance of fin into the world) mud be accom- 
plished. An aera big with forrow, grief, and pain to Jefus ; with 
everiafting comfort and confolation to us; with irretrievable de- 
ftru&ion, and confufion to the prince of darknefs. The Re- 
deemer's heel indeed mull be bruited, he muft fuffer in the hu- 
man nature ; but the Devil's head muft be broken, his kingdom 
fiibverted, the dominion and fway, that he had over the nations, 
wrefted out of his hands. Probably hell was never in fuch a con- 
fternation and dread, as when it heard this commimon ifluedfrora 
the throne, with all the energy Heaven could, give it: ** Awake 
O fword againftmy (hepherd, againft the man my fellow, fmite 
the ftrepherd." — " In fatisfying the claim of my juftice, O my 
*' Son, in fecuringthe rights of my holinefs, thou muft be ftrick- 
*' en, fmitten, and afflicted. As furety for my loft people, thou 
" muft bear all their fins. The Devil thine adverfary, muft be 
" let loofe upon thee; but thou (halt in the iflue, divide *he 
11 fpoil with the mighty ; thou (halt tread on the adder, the 
•' voung lion, and the dragon* (halt thou trample under foot. 1 * 
My dciir Onefimus, what a place was Calvary's mount on thU 
C x 1 1 ao.rd i n sj jy occa fion . 

To behold the Saviour nailed to the crofs, hand and foot, in the 
rnidft of almoft midnight darknefs, and under the concuffions of 3 
trembling world ; and to add to the horror of the fcenc, mfulted, 
tnocked, crucified and flain ! Impious wretches ! Who, when they 
could fcarcely difcern one another, yet they whiiper to one ano- 
ther, •"• he faved others, himfelf he cannot fave." If he is fuch a 


Let. 7. ( 147 ) 

one as he pretends to be, God's Son, and equal to him in fupreme 
dignity, " let him come down from the crofs, and we will believe 
him." We regard not the trcmMing earth, the lowring fun ; nei- 
ther the one, or the other, (hall deter us from our purpofe, die 
he (hall. || Yes, die he mufl ; not as a Martyr, to confirm the truth 
of his doctrine, but as a vicarious propitiatory facrifice, to purchafe 
an eternal redemption from Tin and wrath for his offendini people. 
Die he mutt, to refcue us from eternal condemnation, and intro- 
duce us into the manfions of never-radins: blifs. But whofe fuf- 
ferings were thefe that achieved thefe mighty bleflings, thefe un- 
loeakable advantages ? f Who is he ? " the Lamb of God ;" 
God manifested in the flelh." Pardon tor infinite cffence t can ne- 
ver be procured but by the merit and atonement of an infinite 
oerfon in the human nature. It mufl be blood divine, or in the 
language of the Holy Ghofl, " the blood of God." Ads 
xX. 28. 


!] And was the ranfom paid ? It was: and paid, 
(What can exalt the bounty more ?) fovjou 

The fun beheld it no, the mocking fcene 

Drove back his charior ; M'dnight vaiPd his face, 
Not fuch as this : Nor fuch as nature makes. 
A midnight new ! A dread eelipfe, (without 
Oppofing fpheres) from her Creator's frown f 
Sun didft thou flv thy Maker's pain ? or Hart 
At that enormous load of human guilt, 
Which bow'd his blefled head ; o'erwhelm'd his crofs ; 
Made groan the centre ; burft earth's marble womb, 
With pangs, flrange pangs ! deliver'd of her dead. 
Hell howl'd, and Heaven that hour let fall a tear ; 
Heaven wept, that man might fmile! Heaven bled, 
That man might never die. 

Night Thoughts, pag. $1. 

He weep? !, The failing drop put»t>ut the fun ; 
He figfcs I the figh earth's deep foundation fhakes. 

P a g- 59- 
t Pardon for infinite offence ! and pardon 
Thro*gh means, that fpeaks its value infinite! 
A pardon bought with blood ! with blood divine, 
With blood divine of him 1 made my foe. 

W S3- 
Young's Nicht Thoughts. 

Let. 7- ( 148 ) 

Permit mc now Onefunus to offer you a few thoughts on the 
dereliction of the Son of God on the crofs. || And here I ima- 
gine there was no feparation of the divine from the human na- 
ture. He a {fumed that nature never to lay it afide. He was as 
truly, and really Emmanuel on the crofs, as he is now on the 
throne. This hypoftatical union nothing could pofiibly diflblve; 
no, not death itfelf, which breaks every tie, looies every connex- 
ion, and diffblves every relation between man and man, had no 
influence here. Death indeed diffolved the union between his 
human foul and body, but without touching the perfonal union 
between the two natures in his perfon. This is no more myfte- 
rious than that which takes place with regard to all Saints ; the 
laft enemy feparates between their foul and body, without ever 
touchingthe union between Chrifl and them. " Death cannot 
feparate them from the love o{ God, which is in Chrifl: Jefus." If 
the perfonal union had been c.iflblved on this occafion, it would 
have been abfolutcly impoflible for the human nature, either to 
bear that enormous burden of fin and wrath impofed on it ; or to 
have made an atonement for our (ins: Neither would there have 
been the leafl propriety in thefe phrafes, where he who fuffered is 
faid to be the " Lord of Glory:" and the blood by which the 


If With what peculiar fear and reverence, ought every arti- 
cle of our holy religion to be inveftigared ; particularly thofe pro- 
found and myfterious parts of it, and among thefe Chrift's dereliction on 
the crofs muft be acknowledged to be one. There is indeed a greater 
depth of myftery, in fome parts of the chriftian fyftem, than others; 
but taking the whole complexly, (particularly that part of it which re- 
lates to our falvation) we will find my fiery written on the front of eve- 
ry article. The manifeftation of the Son of God in human nature is 
called a myftery. 1 Tim. iii. 16. The fpi ritual union between 
Chriit and his Saints is called a myftery. Epli. v. 23. There is a 
myftery -which the Apoftle calls the myftery of Chrift. Eph. iii. 4. 
To baniih every thing out of divine revelation, but what is comprehen- 
fi'jle by our reafon, there will remain but little behind. To maintain, 
that we are under no obligation to credit any thing in the word of God, 
that lies beyond the fphere of our comprehenlion, there will be but lit- 
tle left us to believe. Upon this principle no man can be accufed for 
turning Athieft, becaufe he cannot comprehend what God is ; nor of 
infanity, for denying his own and the exiftence of his fellow creatures, 
becaufe he cannot tell, how either exift. Becaufe I cannot unravel all 
the myfteries coi. rained in matter, ihould 1 deny it, 1 would be looked 
upon, and juftly too as fit for Bedlam. That Chrift was deferted, is be- 
yond all difpute, we have his own word for it j his lamentable cry yet 
founds in our ears. But to enter into, and particularly define all its cir- 
Cumftanccs, we cannot. To be dogmatic on this head, might probably 
argire mote of the fool than the chriftian. 

Let. 7. ( 149 ) 

Church is purchafed is faid to he the blood of God. I fay then, 
that Chrift's defertion on the crofs, implied no fuch thing as any 

reparation of the divinity from the humanity. Neither was 

he deferted, as toanv cefTation of the Father's love: He was, in 
all periods, and in all circumftances the heloved of the Father; 
and as much fo on the crofs, as when he lay in his hofom from 
eternity, or now when exalted to his throne. He is by way of 
eminency /^ beloved. " This is (that J my heloved Son, (is the 
language of his God and Father from the excellent Glory) in 
whom lam well pleafed." This not only points at the (insula- 
rity of his nature, but at the high degree in which he flood in the 
affecYion and love of the Father. He is God's eleel: in whom his 
foul delighteth. He loves him as himfelf, as participating of the 
fame divine nature with himfelf; as heir by a natural and an cf- 
fential right to all the glory, perfections, and attributes of Deity. 
If it was poifible, that infinite love could be augmented, now 
was the time: Here was a notable occafion afforded for its in- 
creafe; here was the n* plus ultra of OhriiVs obedience : (i He 
became obedient unto death, even the death of the crofs:" 
*f Therefore doth my Father love me becaufe I lay down my 

life for the fheep." Again, there was no withdrawing of the 

fpirit, which at the cemmcnceiv.ent of his public miniftry, was 
given him above all meafure, particularly as the Ipirit ot holi- 
nefs. There was no mcral evil atending his complaint; no fin- 
tul impatience; nothing that betrayed in the fmalleft degree, 
any declenfion from that ftate of perfect and immaculate purity, 
in which he was conceived, born, and lived. If there had been 
found in him at any time, the leaft moral ftain, or finf-ul imper- 
fection, that moment he ceafed to be the Saviour, and the end 
of his incarnation, life and death rendered abortive. The Lamb 
of God"cmild never have taken away fin, if there had been the 
lead moral ftain, either in his nature, or conduct : But he was 
abfolutely, and for ever, holy, harmlefs, undefiled, and feparat- 
ed from (inner*. He endured and fufFered the mod dreadful phy- 
sical evil, but at the fame time infinitely removed from all moral 

evil. In a word, here was no defertion with regard to that 

ftrength and power, promiied the Mediator to accomplish the work 
of man's redemptions The divine nature operated on this occa- 
fion, to the lu report of the human, fo that it did not fink under 
the burden : Although for a time, the man Chrift was deferted, 
yet he was upheld. 

Permit me now Onefimus, to enquire positively into the nature 
cf Chrift's defertion on the crofs; and I imagine it confiftcd in 
this, a temporary fufpenfion of that joy, comfort, and felicity 
which the man Chrifl had all along, prior to this period enjoyed 


Let. 7. ( 150 ) 

in the moft ample manner, without any interruption. It became 
him as furety for (inner?, to feel in the human nature, the sweat- 
ed grief, and the mod exquifite forrows, both in foul and bodv, 
on the account of fin imputed to him ; and this was one princi- 
pal ingredient in his penal fufferings, a fufpenfion of that influx 
of py and comfort from the divinity to the humanity, which 
it formerly enjoyed. 

Defertion may be confidered either as total, abfolute, and eter- 
nal, or only temporary, and partial. The former conGfts in the 
withdrawing of the divine preience, and a (hutting up under the 
divine indignation in hell for ever; the latter conliils in a partial 
hiding of God's face, and a temporary fufpenfion of his favour. 
God fometimes, for wife ends and purpofes chaflifes his own, 
who are near, and dear to him after this manner: Hear how the 
Church of old complains: The Lord hath forfaken me, and my 
Lord hath forgotten me. Ifai. xlix. 14. God himfclf confirms 
the fame truth : In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a 
moment: For a very fmall moment have I forfaken thee. Ifai. 
liv. 9. How often do we find the Saints complaining bitterly, 
upon the Lord's withdrawing his ufual afiiftance in their redemp- 
tion from temporal evils ; or hiding his countenance from their 
fouls. (Thrift, confidered as the eternal Sen of God, did not, 
neither could, experience this temporary, and partial defertion : 
But confidered in his official capacity as Medittor, this was the 
principal, and moft bitter ingredient in that cup, which the Fa- 
ther gave him to drink. He for a moment, remained without 
the feeling fenfe of the divine favour, while at the fame time, he 
bore the weight of Heaven's indignation both in foul and body. 

,Do you afk Oneftmus, what could be the reafon of God's pro- 
ceeding rhus with his Son ? Without all controverfy, there be- 
hoved to be fom? weighty caufe, why God did forfake this glori- 
ous fufferer. There are three caufes, for which God may defert 
a creature; for trial, for correction, and for punifhment for fome 
crime.— — For trial, thus according to fome, God left Adam, by 
withholding that continual influx of grace and ftrength, which 
W3s necefTary for his (landing, in order for the trial of his obedi- 
ence. In 2 Chron. xxxii. 3. we are there informed that God 

left Hezekiah, that he might know all that was in his heart. -* 

Again, God fometimes deferts his own children for their correcti- 
on ; that by fuch a chaftifement, they may be the more ftirred up 
to the exercife of humility and renewed repentance; to a greater- 
degree of hatred to fin, and lovetoholincfs. In this fenfe, thefe 
Scriptures are to be undcrftood, Ifai. liv. 9. Lam. v. 2©. 
Laftly, God my be faid to leave and defert a perlon for the punifh- 
ment of his fin : Thns he left Saul, when he neither anfwered 


him by Urim,.or Thummim. Thus he hath left the whole nati- 
on of the Jews, Rom. ix. and the profane heathen world, /&om. 
i. Thus he will leave to eternity, the damned in Hell. 

Allow me now to enquire in what fenfe the Son of God in our 
nature was left, and deferted. I imagine it could not he for trial, 
either to explore and find out what was in him, or to fet us an ex- 
ample. It cannot be denied that in thofe excruciating pains 
which he fuffered, he gave the mofl: fi^nal and eminent difplay 
of obedience and patience. In this refpeft, the Apoftle informs 
us, Heb. v. 7. that he learned obedience, by the things which 
he fufFered. But would it not be abfurd to affirm, that to try 
his obedience, and excrcife his patience, was the principal end of 
his fufferings ? Would it not have been inconfiftent with the wif- 
dom, and goodnefs of his benevolent Father, to expofe his Son to 
fuch direful fufferings, for no other end, than to fee whether or 
not, he would be obedient ? What a mean and low end do thofc 
men affix to the,defertion, and other fufferings ofChrift, in con- 
fining them to tlie trial of his obedience, and fetting before us 
an example worthy of our imitation. It is readily granted that 
Chrrft fuffered leaving us an example, 1 Pet. ii. 21. but who 
will be (o daring as to affirm, that all the end of his defertion and 

other fufferings was anfwered by this. —Again, neither was 

He left for correction, unle r s for us; of him it was predicted, 
" that the chaflifement of our peace fhould be upon him." Let 
us' confklcrthe tuffering Saviour as be really was, pure and holy ; 
infinitely removed from every fpot of moral pollution ; was there 
any thing then, in this fpotlefs Lamb of God, worthy of correction 

or chaftifement ? Certainly no. It remains then, that this 

defertion of ChrifVs was truly, and properly penal ; as a part of 
thofe fufferings which our finsdeferved, and which divine juftice 
exacted. He hung between Heaven and earth, a fpe&aclc of 
-miferies, and^the reproach of men, and deferted of the Father to 
atone for our deferting God. There is in every fin, a turning 
-our-back on the Almighty ! " My people fays Jehovah, have 
-committed two great evils, they have forfaken me the fountain 
of living watcs," &c. This complaint might have been with 
the created propriety adopted in all periods, and in every fuc- 
edieg generation fince Adam forfook God in paradife. It was 
r.ct p$$uJK*r t« that backfliding generation; we purfue the fame 

y-ures, a- J in the fame practice; and fo probably will 

du :ngage, until the end of time. Since man there- 
fore deferred to re deferred of God, as a punifhment for his fin ; 
•our glopons Mediator cheerfully fubmitted to this, to refcuc us 
•from being eternally cafl off; to be deprived of the fenfible fmiles 

his all-cheering countenance, and that we might eternally be- 

Let. 7. ( 152 ) 

hold hit face in light and glory ; to live with him in the ftrifteft. 
union; and the mod: exalted communion In a word there- 
fore, I apprehend that the meritorious caufe of ChrifVs defertion, - 
was for our deferring God ; the final caufe, our eternal and infe- 
jurablc union wnd conjun£tion with him- ChrifVs dereliction 
on the crofs, although however bitter it was to him, is a well- 
fpring of everlafting confolation to us; in as much as, it is pro- 
ductive of the mofl: falutary bl elfin gs : And what elfe is every 
thi vg that Chrifl cither did or fuffered. His poverty is our rich- 
es, his wounds our healing, his ignominy our glory, his crofs our 
crown, his death our life, and his defertion on the crofs our eter- 
nal union with the Almighty. 

What acute fufferings were thefe Onefttnus, that thus made him 
to cry out, yea to roar, as the Lion roareth, '* my God, my 
God, why had trjoa forfaken me." || Why, on this occaGon 
what had he to fear? Nothing from Salan : Terrible as he is, 
what was he in the hands of an omnipotent, triumphing SavU 
our? Did he not fome fhort time before his fufferings, pronounce 
his doom, and predict his total overthrow ? John xii. 32. Now 
is the judgment of this world, now is the Prince of this world 
cart out. Could he dread any thing from the impotent malice of 
his inveterate fo?s ? No : He foretold his Difciples, that he had 
overcome the world. What were their blafphemous fpeeches, 
their cruel tortures, their infamous, and fcurrilous conduct to- 
wards him ? He defpifed all, rofe fuperior to all ; and behaved 
mute and filent under all; except when he rendered blefling for 
their curfmg, and prayer, for their blafphemy. But when he 
felt the weight of the revenging hand of an infinitely holy Judge, 
he was conflrained to pour out his foul in the mod bitter lamen- 
tations. M Jt is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the liv- 
ing God:" But this Chrifl: did; the truth of this he experimen- 
tally felt. ChrifVs defertion on the crofs, is not to be underilood 
extrinfically, as if it meant no more, than juit leaving him in 
the hands of the Jews, to put him to death in this tormenting 
manner, as Bellarmine imagined. No, he had principally to do 


ll Epiphanius writing againft Hilary, who maintained that ChrifVs 
manhood was nothing but a mere phantafm ; went into the contrary 
extreme, in maintaining, that ChrifVs defertion and other fufferings, 
tended only to manifeft the truth of his manhood, Have we not fuffi- 
cient documents of his real humanity, prior to this period ? Do we not 
find him hungering, thirfting, fatigued, complaining, and weeping j all 
which are only competent to human nature? IfChrift had not beende-'"' 
fectad for fome other end, we would never have heard a complaint 
from him ; for it is very probable that his bodily fufferings, were little 
more [Severe than the fufferings of thofe who were crucified with him. 

Let. 7. ( 153 ) 

God the Father, as reprefenting the majefly, arid {appro 
mi; the rights of the Deity, as t' e fupreme Judge 'core -. 
tribunal, he was now fitted to anfwer for cur deb: c\ punilhment, 
;ch Ivsdefertion on the crofs was a principal part. Hence 
the fufferings of our Lord Jcfus are, and not without fufficient 
reafon compared to the pains and torments of the damned in 
hell. He fuffered for a time the punilhment of !o : s; confiding 
in the privation of that comfort and joy, refultin:; from the im- 
mediate fruition of God's countenance and prefence; he fuffered 
alfo the punifnment of'fenfc; confiding in the moft grievous tor- 
ments and pains, both in foui and body. He feir particularly 
in his foul; he felt in a moil: lively and exquifite fenfe, the 
wrath and curfe of the Lord God Almighty, poured like water 
into his holy innocent foul : This is what he in an efpecial man- 
ner calls the cup which his Father Grave him to drink. Hence 
in Scripture language, the term he!!, is not only taken to fignify 
the place of the damned, but a (late of the greatefl: diftrefs, and 
mifery. Pi'al. xviii. 6~. Jonah ii. 2. He is faid <( to bear cur 
griefs, and carry our forrows." Now, no forrow or grief can pof- 
fibly be more pungent and fevere, than that which confifts in a 
prefent feeling of the divine wrath and indignation. He ie aifo 
(aid to be " made 2 curfe," and confequently became obnoxi- 
ous to all thofe torments both in foul and body, which the law 
bound over the tranfgrefTors of it to fuffer ; and the holy and juft 
law of God, never thundered out its curfes in fuch an alarming 
manner ag^inil any, as againft the furety, reprefenting the per- 
fons, and fubmitting to become refponfible tor the guilt of his 
{inning people. The law threatninjj refpe&s not only the out- 
ward, but the inward man : The damned in hell have nothing 
further to fuffer than the pains inflicted on the one, and the an- 
gui(h which feizes the other. When we fay that Chri{r. fuffered 
the pains of hell, we do not mean thru he was caft Into the place 
of the damned; but this militates nothing againft his fuffering 
both the pain of lofs and fenfe, which conllitutcs the torments cf 
the wicked in that awful place. \\ hen we fay, that the wicked 
{hall be turned into hell, wc never mean that the place is any 
part of the punilhment, nor of the de,bt which the (inner owes to 
the juftice of God for law tranfgreiiion : For, where ever the 
wrath of God is poured cut in the fulneis and extent of it upon 
the (inner, in foul and body, there is hell, be where it will. 
And hell, as well as Heaven, commences in this life: A guilty 
and an awakened conference is a part, and the commencement 
of infernal torments?; prefent joy and peace in believing, is a pre- 
hbation, and foretafte of Heaven, and the firft fruits of endiefs 


Let. 7. ( 154 ) 

Ojpeftmui, jufl as I had finifhed my letter, my friend Superbus 
made his appearance; was glad, he had been fo happy, a* to 
catch the opportunity of hearing the contents before it was fent 
off. After 1 had read it. he objected particularly againft the ac- 
count given of Chrift's fufferings, making them, in a certain de- 
gree equal to the punifhment of the damned in hell. (< Such a 
i( mode of expreflion, (added he) will certainly involve youf 
** doQrinc on this head into the greateft abfurdities. Will it not 
i( follow of courfe, that there were thefe two principal ingredi- 
" cnts in his fuffcring, defperation, and eternal duration ? Do 
'< not thefe enter into the compofition of the fufferings of the 
ff wicked in hell ? I can fcarccly believe, that great and grie- 
cf vous as the fufferings of the Redeemer were, that they were 
" fo aggravated as you infinuate." 

You need be in no dread Superbus y that abfurdity will be the 
confequcncc of my doctrine on this head: You are carefully 
to diftin^uifh between the punifhment inflicted by the great 
Judge, and thofe adjuncts which are neceflarily connected with, 
and flow from the imbccillity and frailty of the creature fufTering ; 
or in other words, between thofe things which are etfential'y in- 
cluded in the punilhment tnfT16ted, and thofe things which arc 
merely accidental to it. Jefus as our furcty, fufTcred the former, 
viz. all that puniflimcnt which the law of the righteous Jutfge 
threatens, for fubftance, infernal punifhments ; hut the latter, 
he fuffered not, neither could, viz. thofe ingredients which are 
merely accidental, and flow from the nature of the creature fuf- 
fering. The defpair, and eternity of the wicked's punifhment 
in hell are of this kind. Thefe belong not elTentially to the pu- 
nifhment threatened, and inflicted by the righteous Judge. Thefe 
caufes. from which defpair originates could find noplace in Jefus v ; 
He certainly knew, that although however great and grievous his 
pains were, they would be but momentary, and that he would 
obtain a glorious c utgate. Such a reflection as this, cannot find 
.place, no not in the remoteft degree in the fouls of the damned, 
*'■ Go ye curfed into everlafling fire," will be a (cntence irrevo- 
cable. Evcrlafting deftrucYion from the pre fence of the Lord, 
and from the glo r y of his power, will be the a wful doctrine found- 
ing in the. caverns of the pit, for ever and ever, juftice exacts 
thelaft farrh ne;, and without reftitution there can -05 no hope ot 
releafe. Desperation then, doth not fo much rejpe# the punifh- 
ment, as its eternal duration. If the wicked in hell had but the 
remoteft profpeel, of ever emerging out of that guiph of mifery, 
there would be no caufe of defpair. This gleafnof-hope* can on- 
ly arife from a capacity in the creature to mikc-an atonement 
for his by -part, and prelent offences : But a: finite atonement for 


Let. 7. ( *4f ) 

an infinite offcrtce, can never be accepted of by the juflice of 
Go3, for it requires the utterainft farthing, and out: of that cjlon- 
mv dungem ' thefe of darknefs can never he re!ea r ed 
until this be paied. With regard to our Lord Jefus, it is very 
obfervable, that at that very period, when his farfeFings arvfc to 
the very highelr. pitch, when the floods of divine wrath overwhelm- 
ed his fou!, and a vail drawn on the Father's countenance, there 
was, I fay, even then inftead of defperation, the urongefi; faith 
in the Father's /ove, car*, and prote&ion- " My God, my 
God." With regard to the eternity of the wicked's fuffering in 
hell, this could be no ingredient in the fufferin^s of Chrift. As 
I hinted formerly, eternity is not an effential ingredient in the 
tfunifhment of the wicked in belt: It belongs not to the punifh- 
ment cffentially confidered, but originates entirely from, the in- 
firmity of the creature fuffering, which cannot by fufifepins: Satis- 
fy ; yea inftead of this adds fin to (in. What can be expe&ed in 
the pit of deftru&ion, but impatiencej murmuring;, fretting, ac- 
cufing, and blafpheming that Almighty arm, which crufnes them 
under its vengeance. Up^n fuppofition, that the fmful crea- 
ture bv fuffering, could fatisfv, there would be nofuch a thing as 
eternal torments ; " the worm would die, the fire would be 
quenched." The merit of Jefus, confiding in his obediential 
life, and fatisfa&ory death, was fufficient to fatisfy for all the 
iniquities and tranfgrcflions of his finning people, without his fuf- 
ferings being eternal. And why ? Becaufe he was a divine per- 
[on. It was neither neceifarv, nor poSihle, that his fufferings 
ihouid be eternal: Not necefTary, becaufe he was capable by his 
temporary fufferings, to anfwer every claim that the juftice of 
God had upon him as furety. Again it was not pofiiMe that his 
fufferings could be eternai ; becaufe if the law had required an 
eternity of fuffeFing, fatisfatfion never could have been majie, 
n.n6 mankind would have been reduced to the fame predicament 
wrth the fallen Angels; hut this was no parr of the law threat- 
ning, efierttially confidered. Further, it was not poifi Ac for: 
fittl reafon, it was requifite thar he who died to pu rebate falvati- 
on, (h"ou!4 Jive to confer, and «pp!v the fame to all for whom it 
w^s procured. " He died for our offences, he rofe again for our 
j unification." 

r I a(k yoo now Superbus, whether or not, from the confidera- 
flon of the awfui feverity of "ChrinVs fufferings, was there think 
^ou nc^morc intended hy them, than merejy to confirm the truth 
of hU do&riae, and fct before mankind a copy for imitation^ if" 
o^alled "upon to fuffcr I 

'-•■ Pbilanon, I freely acknowledge, and I firmly believe, 
*' that" viewing the fufFerings of Jefus complexly, in the garden, 

<< and 

Let. 7. ( 156 ) 

" and on the crofs, the cup was too bitter for him to drink, con- 
t( fidered in the capacity only of a Martyr. Confidering the 
" death of Jefus, as a proper and real fatisfacYion for our fins, \ 
" can eafily and rationally account for his agony in the garden , 
44 andhisdefertion on the crofs, and upon no other footing what- 
cc ever. In making his foul an offering for (in, I can account 
ft for his preflure under the burden of Tinners guilt and God's 
" wrath. Upon this footing, I can account for M Qod's being 
c< juft, in juftifying the ungodly." Viewing the great and ul- 
€€ timate end of Chrift's death, as a fatisfa&ion to the offended 
" juftice of God, and to turn away his wrath from the (inner; 
** I can behold with rapture and delight, the great Judge f* blot- 
ce ting out our (ins as a cloud, and as a thick cloud our fanfgref- 
" (ions:" Accepting our polluted pcrfons, and imperfect facrifi- 
41 ces; admitting us into favour here, and receiving u^ into his 
" glory hereafter; and all this in a confiftency with the holinefs 
tc of his nature, and the righteoufnefs of his law. Upon this 
** account aljb, I can fee the propriety of the Church's exclama- 
cc tion, we are all as an unclean thing in thy (ight, and all our 
* 4 righteoufneflfes are as filthy rags. Ifai. lxiv. 6. Why doth 
tf the Church here fpeak of their righteoufnefs in fuch diminu- 
tc tive, and vile terms? Becaufe in point of juftification before 
ft God, they were but as rags, and could not fcreen them from 
<c the (form of God's wrath; and filthy rags, which, if depended 
* c on, and trufted in, as the meritorious caufe of th'tir falvation, 
" would but render them more vile in the eye of infinite purity. 
iC The Church certainly had fome other righteoufnefs in view 
•* before (he could entertain fuch an opinion of her own : Yes, 
t( a righteoufnefs, in which the all-penetrating eye of God can 
<c efpy no blot, his righteous and holy law no imperfection, 
*' Whofc righteoufnefs is this? What is it ? The righteoufnefs 
•■ of the Son God, in man's nature; confiding in the holmcfs oi 
iC his nature, righteoufnefs of life, and fatisfa&ory death. Tm 
" righteoufnefs, the fame evangelical prophet in name of the 
" Church propofes to glory in: I will greatly rejoice in the 
f c Lord, my foul joyful in my God, for be hath cover- 
94 ed me with the robe of righteoufnefs, and wirh the garments 
•* of falvation. || I can now fee, that the great Apoftle of the 
** Gentiles did not a6t fuch a foolifh part as I have often thought 
44 he did, at lead I never could account for his looking with fuch 
" an indifferent eye, and entertaining fuch a poor opinion of 
*' bh own righteoufnefs, as he once did. " When it pleafed 
if God to reveal his Son in him," that righteoufnefs which he' 
e( counted gain, he then '* counted lots, yea dung, for the ex* 

; u cellcncy 
f! Ifai. Ixi. 10. 

Let. 7. ( 157 ) 

<s cellency of the knowledge of Jefus Chrifl: his Lord." &c. He 
** made a total renunciation of all his, (falfely fo called good 
* ( works) and took up his refuge, for time and eternity, under 
" the covert of Chrift's righteoufnefs, as the only, and alone 
" ground of his acceptance with God, in regard both of his per- 
" fon, and fervices. || 

" Mv dear Philemon, I begin to fee more and more into the 
•' glory and excellency of the chriftian fyftem, as having an en- 
" tire reference 10 Jefus the Mediator: I fee all the great lines 
" of divine revelation meeting and centering in him; all the 
" promifes yea and Amen in him; the curie threatened in the 
" law borne by him; the falvation of finners fecured, and only 
'* fecured by his death, and blood-lhedding : I perceive all the 
" perfections and attributes of Deity, more highly honoured, 
* f and more extenfively glorified, than ever they could have 
* ( been by the unfinning obedience of the firff, Adam. May the 
€t Spirit of wifdom and revelation difcover to me more and more 
*' the knowledge of this great myftery of godlinefs, " God ma- 
** nifefted in the flelh ;" " to take away fin by the facrifice of 
** himfelf ; that I may know him in the power of his refurre&i- 

if on, and the fellowship of his fufFerings."- Having thus 

fpoken, Superbus returned home. 

Oneftmvs, what mult the demerit of fin be, when we behold 
the innocent Lamb of God fuffering fo grievoufly for its expia- 
tion ? Although he was inherently holy, yet he experimentally 
felt its evil nature, its bitter effects. Never was there fuch a glo- 
rious difplay given of God's hohnefs, and hatred againft fin, as 

on mount Calvary, in the fufFerings of his own Son. For one 

lin of the Angels, he caft them out of Heaven into hell, referv- 
ing them in chains of darknefs, unto the judgment of the great 
day. Difobedience, even in thefe exalted fpirits cannot be dif- 

penfed with. God will by no means clear the guilty. For 

the iniquity of the old world, he rid the earth of that perverfe ge- 
neration; fwepc them into eternity by the waters of the flood. 
How deteftaMe muft fin be to the eyes of his glory, when he fo 
foon after the creation deftroyed his creatures, and depopulated 
this terreftrial globe. Sin is not to be ventured on without (bon- 
er, or later, being punifhed with the moft direful vengeance. — For 
the fin of Sodom and Gomorrah, Jehovah dfcl a new thing, varied 
the punifhment, adapted the vengeance to the crime ; for burn- 
ing in their luft, he burned. them up with 'fire and brimftone from 


U Thy merit— 
Imputed, fhall abfolve them who renounce 
Their own, both righteous, and unrighteoui deeds; 
And live in thee tranfplanted ; 
And from thee receive new life. Mil to if. 

Let. 7. ( T58 ) 

Heaven; probably, this vtes a forctaftc of everlafting burnings. 
What a dreadful ftorm ! Sec the elements gathering with firfc 
and brimftone ! Whv, d;> you reply, is there no pity in God? 
Ye^ he is very pitiful and tender in his mercy: But he is juft, 
h<r is holy too. What cm mercy do with prefumptuous unre- 
lenting Tinners, but del.ver rhern over into the hands of divine Wo to that man, to that people and nation, who have 
mercy for their enemy. Ye adulterers, ye adultere^es, a more 
fevcrc judgment is awaiting you, than befel Sodom.— You 
would perhaps think, it was but a very fmall tranfgrefiion in 
Adam, and a flight breach of the divine law, that God mould 
have dealt fo fevercly with him, and with all his pofterity. I 
faid a flight tranfgremon ; perhaps in fo faying I tread upon the 
holinefs of the divine nature, 1 then recall it, and with more 
propriety fay, that I know not the meaning of the phrafe: A 
flight tranfgrelTion, a fmall offence, and yet againft an infinitely 
holy majefly ! Every fin whatever, defcrves God's wrath and 
curfe, both in this, and in the life to come. Small as fome may 
account the firft fin, it did not efcape the curfe of God ; yea the 
very ground on which finncrs tread, iscurfed for his fake. FronV 
the entrance of the firft fin into the world to this very day, the 
whole creation groans under the fin- of guilty man. Even the 
very ferpent for the ill ufe the Devil made of it in tempting 
our firft parents efcapes not the curfe. Have we not the greateft 
reafon to cxlaim, " Who ftiall ftand before inch a holy Lord 
God ?" Is it pcfllble for any man, for any nation, going on in their 
rrefpafTes, to promile theinfelves immunity from- the curfe of a 
holy, and fin-revenging God, when we have fuch fignal exam* 
pies exhibited before us, in paft ages ? Let rione in this prefent,, 
or any fucceeding wicked age think, that God winks at their 
fin, becaufe judgment is not prefently executed. If men take 
their time to fin, God will take his to punifh.— — But if thefe 
examples wjll not fumce to evince the holinefs of the divine Be* 
ing, and the deteftablc nature of fin ; let us repair-to Calvary's 
mount, and there, I prcfume, we will fee the moft glorious and 
eminent diiplay that ever God gave of his hatred to fin, and re-, 
gard to holinefs. Here we behold the innocent Lamb of God, 
oppreiFed and affh&ed, bearing the griefs, and-earrying the for- 
rows of his finning people. " Jehovah making to m*ct on him 
the iniquity of us all." , Rather than fin Ihould gfc-tmpunifhed, 
he will take vengeance on it in the perfon of his ow*» Sort. The 
curfe of the Ja\y muft light fomewhere : To fee t*r light on the. 
head of finning Adam ; to fee perfonal tranfgreflors ^caught hi 
the net, and fall into thc ; mare* whic^i their^wn. bancjs have 
trxadc, is no matter of furprife ; but to fee God's dear Son, who 
-. - : - --■■> - did 

Let. 7. ( 159 ) 

did no evil, neither was guile found in his mouth, caught in the 
thieket, and as a propitiatory facrifice confumed in the fire of 
God's wrath, argues the moft invincible hatred to fin, and the 
mod eminent love to holinefs — — In a word, not all the vials of 
judgments, that have been, or (hall be poured out upon a wick- 
ed world; nor the flaming furnace of a guilty finners conference; 
nor the irreverfible fentence againft the rebellious Devils ; nor 
the groans of the damned in hell, give fuch a demon ftrario» of 
God's hatred to fm, as that of his wrath let loofe, and poured out 
upon the Mediator. 

May you my dear Onefimus, increafe more and more in your love 
to holinefs, and hatred to fin. May your garments be prefcrved 
unfpotted in the world, and you prefented without fpor or wrin- 
kle before the throne o\ the divine glory, where no fin can enter : 
That thefe things may be the happy lot of my Orw/tmus, is the 
fmcereft wifh, and prayer of his moft affc&ionate 



bear Oneiimus. 

JAM fure from the religious turn of your mind, you are often 
* delighted, and highly entertained, in ftudying the book of na- 
:ure. What a rational pleafure to a ftudious contemplative 
mind, doth this great volume afford. Whither can we poflibly 
turn our eyes, but we will find a mod affecYing discovery of the 
wifdom, goodnefs, and almighty power of the great Crtator, in 
the works of creation, and common providence. Omr.ia plena 
Jol'is, {faid an ancient Heathen,) all things arc full of Jupiter : 
In him we five, move, and from him we have our being, is the 
language of iofpiration, with regard to the fulnefs, omnipotence, 
and omniprefencc of* the invifible Deity : f The invifible things 
of him from the creation of the world, are clearly fcen, being un- 
dcrftood fry the things which he hath made, even his Eternal 
power, and God-head. || If we mould but take the moft curfory 
and fr^itlfcm vie* of the ftupendous works of the Almighty in 
creation, We cannot but be fiflcd with the grcateft reverence, and 

Wh T"A6b xril it. H Rom. J. 20. 

Let. 8. ( 1 60 ) 

the moil profound veneration. Is it poflible to contemplate the 
vifible perfections of the invifiblc Deity without crying out, great 
and marvellous are all thy works Lord God Almighty, juft and 
fue are thy ways, thou King of Saints : Who ihall not fear and 
glprify thy name, lor thou only art holy ? f How vain and ufe- 
le's will all our {peculations on the Almighty Creator be, whether 
anting from divine revelation, or the mamfcftation of himfelf in 
the works of creation and providence, if they have not this prac- 
tical tendency, to beget, and nourifh in our minds a deep vene- 
ration for, and a prevalent defire after, a clofeand intimate con- 
nexion with the Father of our fpirits. What afpiring reflections 
fhonid poflfefs our minds, when inveftigating the nature, and 
prying into the end and defign of God's handy-works: When 
ire confider, that that almoft infinite variety of creatures both 
above and below, was created for the fervice and benefit of man. 
The Almighty has enlifted every creature into our fervice, in 
fome meafure or other. For our benefit, the fun arifes, and like 
a ftrong man, rejoices to run his race, circling from the one end 
of Heaven to the other, not only to proclaim his great Creator's 
praife, but to enlighten and invigorate our lower world. He 
hath alfo let the moon in the Heaven's to direft our fteps in the 
night, in the abfence of the fun, and to difcern the feafons : For 
us thefe glorious luminaries mine. For us doth the trees blof- 
ioin, and the earth vegetate. For us are the clouds engendered 
in the lower regions of the air which pour down their influences, 
to fertilize our plains, and afford drink to man and beaft. For 
11s doth the thunders roll, the wind blow, and the feas flow. 
t( How great is his goodnefs, and how great is his beauty" ! If 
you caff, your eyes on that capacious bafon hollowed by the hand 
©f the Almighty, out of which theextenfive garden of this world 
is watered, you will find an admirable difplay of the divine good- 
nefs, as well as the infinite power and wifdom of God. Some- 
times we behold this vaft collection of waters almott. in a ftate of 
ftatrnation ; its furface as fmooth as glafs; its roaring waves 
hufhed in filence: But almofl initantanecufly it grows outragi- 
ou a . It is for ever changing : A fit emblem of all fublunary en- 
> 5 merits. That " there is ho abiding thing under the fun," 
is the aphorifm of the wifeft of men. Lately, when walking by 
the fea-fide, I had this verified: From the moft profound calm, 
in a moment, it lifted up its proud waves, a 1 moft above the high- 
€il mountains: Some rolling with the moil majeftic ;air, others 
breaking with the moft impetuous force againftthe more; and 
then retreating back into the bofom of the great deep: Some 
iLifhing themfelves into pieces with ungoverned rage, and whit- 
.t. Rev. xv. 3, 4. 

< Let. 8. ( 161 ) 

cnins into foam. What a hideous roar is heird, when thelc 
tat the fhore, enough to llrike the (Vureft: heart 
with horror and amazement ! When the royal prophet would 
DC the divine Being in all the terror of his msjelV; r^nd 
g ! o:v, he represents him as mightier than thefe great fea-billows. 
The floods have lifted up O Lord, the floods have lifted up their 
voice i the-fl.vxls lift up their waves. The Lord on high is 
mightier than the noile of manv waters, yea than the mighty 
waves of the ( ea. |{ When liaiah woukl reprefent him in the 
greatnefs of his power, he exhibits him to our view as meafuring 
the waters in the hollow of his hand.-j- 

In the miuft of in much diiorder, confjfion and rage, why- 
do not thofe impetuous waters abandon their capacious bed, 
and deluge the world ? No reafon can be aiTi^ned for this re- 
straint hut this, namelv, that the fame Almighty ail powerful 
hand, that lifts up the aipiring waves of this tumultuous flood, 
has fet their bounds that they can never tranfgreis. " Hitherto 
fhalt thou go, and no further, and here (hall thy proud waves be 
frayed," is the Teftraining mandate of the Lord cf thefe turbulent 
waters. Go ye linn ers who are impetuouflv bent on your ini- 
quitous courfes, and learn from the'e tumultuous waters, learn 
obedience to ycur Maker's will. Can no bounds Heaven hath 
fet, will no jaw which the great God prefcribes, keen you within 
bounds ? Alas ! You are like the fea, in all its turbulence, would 
to God you wru!d learn to refemble it, in alt its obfequioufneis 
to the will of Heaven. 

A meft melancholy <"cene prefents itfctf to my ' iew in the 
midft of this dreadful florin. Rolling on thefe mountains of 
waters, I behold a large fhip, without one finglt mafr, without 
the lead aid or afliftance, and wlthottt ail hopes of ever making 
the land. See the wretched pafTengersall d.iconloJate, the failors 
ftandng aghaft, and the Pilot himfelf defpairmg cf fuccefs, hatigs 
his drooping head upon the helm. Alas! v. hat can they do. 
They imagine with themfelves, that they hear in every heaving- 
billow, th's alarming and mortify ng fummens, et prepare for 
death and judgment." Notwithstanding 01 the utmoft effort of 
ftrength and fkill, the ftorm baffles all their endeavours. There 
is one expedient yet left; they betake themfcL.-s to prayer, they 
pour out their whole fouls into his bofom, who (its on the floods, 
and commands the deep. That gracious and iruulgcnt Being, 
who holds the winds in his flff, allays their fur}"., and rebukes 
the raging waves, and conduces the weather-beaten fhip to the 

Pfal. xciii. 3, 4. * Ifai. xl. 12. 


Let. 8. . ( j£ 2 ) 

defiied haven. You will find a moft piefcurefque account Of a 
fea-ftorm drawn by the royal Pfalmift. in the moll: emphatic lan- 
guage imaginahle. Such as have been on the briny deep upon 
fuch occafions, have found thedefcription verified in every parti- 
cular. They that go down to the Tea in fhips, and do bufinefs 
in great waters : Thefe fee the works of the Lord, and his won- 
ders in the deep. For he commandeth and raifeth the ftormy 
wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof. They mount up to 
the Heavens, they go down again to the depths, their foul is 
melted becaufe of trouble. They reel to and fro, and ftagger 
like a drunken man, and are at their wits end. Then they 
cry unto the Lord, and he bringeth them out of their diftrefs. [| 
How much of the wifdom and goodnefs of the great Creator 
is to be feen in this huge collection of waters. This vaft traft 
of fea was never intended by the Almighty as an infuperablc bar- 
rier to keep diftant nations in a flate of perpetual ignorance of 
one another, and confine each of them within their refpe&ive 
bounds; but as a medium for their union, and focial intercourfe 
with one another. By this means, the great author of nature 
hath made each individual country an ample compenfation for 
the want of fome productions. His intention therefore, Was to 
render the conveyance of all forts of commodities to diftant coun- 
tries perfectly eafy, and expeditious, which would have been al- 
together impracticable without fuch an expedient and mode of 
conveyance. Nothing but the moft profound ignorance can 
tempt any one to maintain, that the fea is the greateft cbftacJe 
in the way of one nation mingling with another, or participating 
of the commodities and productions of diftant climes. Horace in 
a fit of ill humour, when deprived of his beloved friend Fi'rgil, 
who had embarked for Greece, calls down heavy imprecations on 
his head who firft invented the art of navigation, f That Poet 
confidered thofe large tracts of fea which divide one country from 
another, as fo many trenches hollowed by the hand of the Al- 
mighty, on purpofc to hinder all intercourfe and correfprndencc 
between them : And according to him, it was an a£t of the high- 
elf p dumptioit to tranfgrefs thefe bounds. J Ho# 

II Pfal. cvri. 

t 1111 robur et ce> triplex, 
Circa pet"hi9 erat qui fragttem truci* 
Commifu pelago ratem, 
Primus, &c. 

X Nequicquam Deus obfeidi, 
PrudensDceaho diffociabili 
Terra?, fi tamen impiae, 
Non tangenda rdtcs txanfiliunt vada. 

Carm. lib. i. 

Let. 8. ( 153 ) 

How much of the wifdom and goodnefs of the Almighty is to 
he fcen, in the flux, and reflux, of this liquid element. The fra 
flows fucceffively fix hours from fouth to north ; at lead this di- 
urnal courfe is but feldom interrupted; and rifts fometimes 
more, and fometimes lefs upon ourcoafts. This is what we call 
,ts flux, or flood. It continues in that irate a', out a quarter of 
an hour, and after that begins to recede, and gradually decreafes 
fix hours more. This return of the waters from north to touth, 
and from our coalls to the main ocean, is what is called its re- 
flux, or ebb. The water remains about a quarter of an hour in 
this loweft fta:e, and after that makes a^ain towards the more. 
This is obvious to every one who has taken the leall notice of 
the lea's motion. Such floods are ftrorigeft, and thole tides are 
highefl which fall out at the new, and in the full of the moon, 
and thefe are genera!!y te r med fplrmg-tides as the former aie 
called neap-tides : And thefe fpring-tides are always higheft at 
the equinoxes This ftrange phenomenon being commen, and 
always, aimofl invariably the fame, we behold it with an eye of 
indifference ; but if it was to happen like the tranfit of fome of 
the heavenly bodies over the fun, the inland parts of the coun- 
try would be almoft totally evacuated, and our fe3 coalls crowd- 
ed to behold with amazement and terror, the awful fighc. 
" God's way (in this, as well as in many ether paits of his 
providential difpenfations towards the children of men) is in the 
fea, and his paths in the mighty waters, and his footfleps are not 

Do you a(k, what reafon is alined for fuch a phenomenon ? 
Naturalifts are extremely divided in their opinions on this head. 
Some imagine, that this effect is produced by the moon's preffure 
on the ocean when (he paifes directly over it, and makes the 
waters to rife on the more by the elaftic body of that air which 
intervenes between her and the ocean, and which ftra<?gles to 
expand itfelf through the waters paffive obedience to fuch an 

impreflion.- -Others again maintain, that it is not owing to 

the gravitation of the moon upon the fea, but to the preffure of 
the earth and fea together upon the moon which have an innate 
tendency to approach that heavenly body. But as fuch an en- 
quiry is very precarious, I decline it : And inftead of enquiring 
into the efficient caufe of thefe alternate motions of the flux and 
reflut of the ocean, I Would enquire into the great defign, and 


M 2 

Let. 8. ( 164 ) 

principal aim, of an all-wife providence in this wonderful me- 
chaniftti. To decide pofitively on that fyftem of laws and rules, 
which are fo much inveloped in myftery, and beyond the utmoft 
reach of our capacity, is rather prefumptuous: But to remain 
entirely infenfihle of thofe infinite obligations we lie under to the 
great Author of nature, I think is fhameful ingratitude; or at 
leaft fuch a want of attention, as is highly blameable. 

One great advantage we reap by the tides, particularly the 
fpring tides is, that they clear the channels of our rivers, and by 
that means render them deep and large enough for the convey- 
ance of large fhips to the moft populous cities, which otherwise, 
could never be accomplifhed. How often are the mariners 
obliged to wait for feveral days for this commodious increafe of 
the waters, and to make the bell improvement of fuch opportu- 
nities when they offer, to fail with fafety into the road, or port 
to which they are bound, or up the river itfelf, without the leaft 
danger of running a ground for want of a funicient depth or 

Another fpecial advantage we enjoy by the conftant motion 
of the fea, is, it is prevented from corrupting and breeding the 
moft infectious vapours; which would inevitably be the cafe, 
from its continuing in a ftate of ftagnation for any confiderable 
length of time. The indulgent, and beneficent Creator, has 
not entrufted fuch an important, and falubrious fcheme to the 
uncertain, and precarious winds: For although he has appointed 
fhem to purify the air all around our habitations, and to render 
the produ6tions of the earth by their repeated influences and im- 
preflions, the more eafy ; and although the winds are more fer- 
viceable on the fea, than the ftrongeil: horfes could be by land, 
for the expeditious tranfportation of our commodities, yet their 
blafts are very uncertain, and often fucceeded -by long calms, 
which would foon breed corruption in this capacious bafon. By 
this motion of the fea, thofc various impurities of the earth which 
are conveyed by the rivers into the fea, are fo far from gathering 
together, and creating any contagion, that they are diiperfed, 
and attenuated, and by their perpetual agitation thrown upon 
the furface of the waters, where they are exhaled into vapours, 
and in their defcent converted into our fervice, by promoting 
v eg: tat. on. 

But in order that the fea may be the more effectually prefer ved 
from all contagion, the flux and reflux of its tides are ordained 
by an all- wife providence to ftir up daily the falts with which it 
abounds, from one end of this great refcrvoir to the other. And 
were not its v/atcis to be thus in a perpetual ftate of agitation, 
the faline particles contained in than would immediately iubfide, 


Let. 8. ( 165 ) 

or fink to the bottom, and in this cafe, a putrefaction in the wa- 
refy flood would foon be the inevitable confequence. Moreover, 
if the waters on our fhores were to Jofe their brackifh quality, 
rhev would n-^t only putrify and grow infectious, but they would 
no longer prove fo nutrimental to our fifh, by which we would 
lofe a very delicious part of numberlefs animals, which are ap- 
pointed by the bountiful »hand of nature's God for our fubfiftence. 

D~» you a(k On-'ftmus, from whence has the fea its faltnefs ? Jn 
anfwerto your query, I would a(k you, from whence has the fire 
its heat, the fun its light, or the Ethiopian his hlacknefs ? The 
great Author of nature, created the fun a luminous r.odv, be- 
caafe otherwise it would prove of no fervice to mankind; and 
the fame all-wife and beneficent Being, has beftowed this faline 
quality on the fea-waters, becaufe otherwife he knew, that they 
would prove detrimental, inilead of being any ways advantage- 
ous. Some indeed impute its brackifh quality to fome beds, or 
ftrata of fait, which lie in fubterraneous caverns, and have a fe- 
cret intercourfe with the fea; the extremities whereof are gradu- 
ally impaired, and warned away by its waters. I imagine, it 
mull be a very great miftake to impute fo general an effect as 
the faltnefs of the fea to fo local and fortuitous a caufe, as that of 
the extreme parts of fuch ftrataoffait as abow mentioned being 
waftied away by the fea. The Almighty has made the waters 
ot the fea fait, that they might always continue in a ftate of 
purity, and be ever ready at hand to ferve us- I think it may 
be confidently aflerted with regard to the brinifh quality of the 
(-a, a^ it may of the fifhes themfelves, who cannot fur. fill in any 
othe'- water. Now, no one will certainiy have the afTurance to 
fay that the fifhes who inhabit this watery fi \.d, came thither by- 
mere chance; that brackifhnefs, therefore, which we find in 
thofe waters, and is fo rcquifitc for the nourishment and fupport 
of their inhabitants, js no mere caual than tliev thcmfeNes are. 
The fame Almighty Creator which gave being to the fifhes of 
the fea, prepared for them, from the creation oi the world an ele- 
ment fuited to their natures, and at once furnifhed it with thole 
faline particles, without which they could nrt pofiibly fubfifr. 

How much of the wifdom and goodnefs of the great Creator is 
tn be feen in the brackifh quality of the fea-waters. The mod 
minute particles of the fea-falt grow volatile, and are exhaled 
with the vapours, and diffufed all over the face of the earth in 
order to become one of the main principle. :- of vegetation. Again, 
thofe grains of fait which are more grofs and weighty, refift the 
influence both of the fun and air, which exhale thole, vapours, 
and by this means fix the meafure of evaporation. The greater 
the quantity of thefe faline particles is, which retards the rare- 

Let. 8. ( 166 ) 

f.iclion, the leflfcr quantity of watery particles afcend into va- 
pours. The fait, therefore, which renders the water heavy, 
makes the evaporation of t^e latter lets profufe : F»*om whence 
it is evident, that we arc indebted to the brackifh quality cf the 
fea for that due proportion of frefh water which is exhaled from 
thence hy the fun for our frYvice : Since without fuch refinance 
ofthefefalts it would exhauft fuch a profufion of vapours as would 
he more apt to deluge the earth, than render it fertile. In this 
particular, therefore, as well as in every ether hand-work of the 
Almighty, we may difcover with eafe, how all the parts o'f na- 
ture with one voice, as it were, agree to promote the welfare of 
mankind. How mean and worthlefs a philofophy muft theirs 
he, who, whi'ft they are making the itri&cft refearches into the 
fecrets of nature, wholly, or at leaft too much, difregard thofe 
gracious ends of divine providence which are fo vifibly difplaycd 
in the minutell parts of the Creation. And how blame-worthy 
mud they be, who, inftead of referring thofe invaluable bleflingf 
which are (howered down upon the earth, and the whole race of 
mankind, to the wifdom of God, and his tender concern for his 
Creatures, either impute them to undefigning taufes, or look up* 
on them as the effects of blind chance. 

Onefimus, if we would explore the bofom of the great deep, 
and take a minute furvey of its almoft numberlefs inhabitants; 
what a prodigious tafk would it be. The royal Pfalmifl fpeaks 
of the inhabitants of this watery region as countlefs. || So is this 
great and wide fea, wherein are things creeping innumerable, 
both fmall and great beads. There go the ihips, there is that 
Leviathan whom thou haft made to play therein. Thefe all 
wait upon thee, that thou mayeft give them their meat indue 
feafon That thou 'giveft they gather; thou openeft thine hand, 
they are filled with good. O! what a numerous family has 
providence to funport. None but be, who is all-fufficient could 
fupply fuch a prodigious number of creatures, all depending on 
him, and expe6tinn: their habitual fupply from his infinite and 
inexhauftible beneficence. From the great Leviathan, tQ the 
'mailed: minnon, they have all their eyes directed to him who, 
is good, eiTcritially, and communicatively good: And in their 
way, they all praife him : Yes Onefimus 9 we will find no ingra- 
titude but among the human fpecies, among men conftituted 
the lords of the creation : but among creatures, made after the 
image of God. All thy works (hall praife thee Q Lord. I leave 
it to the phifofopher to enter into the bofom of this capacious 
refer voir, and fpecify the numberlefs inhabitants which Almigh- 
ty power has created, and Almighty goodnefs fuftains, and re- 
ff Pfal. civ. 25, 26, 27. 

Let. 8. ( 167 ) 

turn to anfwer a query which I find in yours, viz. to give Tome 
account of Judas the traitor of our Lord. It is true as you hint, 
that we mav glean fomething even from the wickednefs of the 
wicked, as well as from the upright conduct of the righteous, for 
our fpiritual inftruction, edification and caution. This ftrange 

man was a difciple: " Have not I chofen you twelve." As he 
was called to the exercife of the apoftolic function, we need not 
queftion hut he was pofTefled of every qualification requifite for 
its difcharge. He was endued with the extraordinary gifts of the 
Holy Ghoft, in common with his fellow difciples: In which 
fenfe he may hefaid, " to be made a partaker of the Holy Ghoft." 
When Jefus fent out the eleven to preach the gofpel, and work 
miracles, he did not retain him as unworthy to he employed in 
this honourable office, or unmeet to fill this high ftation. No 
doubt, hut Judas rejoiced as well as the reft at the fubje&ion of 
the Devils to them; no doubt, but they yielded to him as well 
as to the reft. Very probably, the fruits of his miniftry were as 
copious as thofe of the eleven; and very likely all this time he 
never dreamed what fort of a man he was. Behold then One- 
fimus, a man preaching Chrift Jefus the Lord, and yet ignorant 
of him, I mean as to any real practical knowledge of him : Dcf- 
riture of his faving grace ; a ftramrer to the fanctifying influen- 
ces of his fpirit ; carting out Devils, and yet the Devil never 
caft out of himfelf: The prince of the power of the air leading 
him captive at his will. When Chrift called the eleven, he not 
only revealed himfelf to them, hut in them; called them by his 
grace, as well as by his word. No oftpe however facred can 
confer grace ; or prove an argument to the perfons felf or others, 
that he is a genuine Difciple, a real Chriftian: God in his all- 
wi r e fovereignry mav heftow gifts on a man, plant him in his 
heufe, make him the iiutriimenr of watering others, aad yet at 
the fame time, be in the end a aji-a-zvay. Strange! for Judas 
to be one of (Thrift's family, engaged in his work, and yet a ftran- 
ger to himfelf. 7'heie is more in religion than merely crying 
Lore/, Lord. Judas was in Jefus, as rh^ufrnds befides him are, 
only by an external profefiion ; without any real faving intereft 
in him, or any fancVifying communion with him. There are 
none lefs apt to fufpe& themfelves than hypocrites are. When 
our Lord and his dffciples fat at the pafchal fupper, he addreftTed 
them in thefe words, ■* verily, verily, I fay unto you, that one 
of you fhall betray me." They all with grief in their hearts, and 
aftonifhment in their faces, began to pofe their Lord with this quef- 
rioti; ** Lord i'$ if \ f" Jt is generally fuppofed, that Judas was 
filent on this rcrafion till the laft, and in the mean time per- 
haps; little fufpeding he was the vile perfon, that nis Lord knew 


Let. 8. ( 16S ) 

him- to be. How often doth wickednefs lie lurking in frhncrs 
breads unlufpecUd until a tempration offer. Little did Mazaei 
fulpect that there was fuch cruelty in his heart, and fuch a third - 
for blood in his difpofition, while he was only captain of the Al- 
Jfyrian army. When Cent to enquire at the prophet with regard 
to the health of h'u matter; Elilha looks on him, and weeps, 
predicts what courfe he would purfue, when elevated to the 
AfTyiian throne. After this man of God had enumerated a train 
of the moft horrid barbarities, and the mod cruel treatment the 
Ilraelites would meet with, and be involved in, through the cru- 
elty of his nature; Hazael replies, " is thy fervant a dead dog, 
that he mould do fuch things." But wc find the event as it 
proved tHe truth of the prophet's prediction, fo it ihowed that 
the man did not know himfelf. Hypocritical Judas perhaps, 
until ftirrcd up by the Devil of covetoufnefs, never imagined 
that he would be fo bale, and avaricious, as to fell his Lord and 
Mader for any price; and efpecially for !uch a paltry low fum. 
Ah ! Oneftmusy let us never trufl our own hearts; let us enter- 
tain an habitual jealcufy over ourfelves. Let us never triumph 
in the falls of others; if we {land, we ftand by grace ; if we tri- 
umph over the Devil, the world, and the flefh, it is owing to 
*' God's teaching our hands to war, and our fingers to fight. " 
Here is an awful indance prefented to our view, of a ftar of the 
firft magnitude, a Difciple, and one of Ch rift's family, fallen, 
and fallen irrecoverably. After receiving the fop, he immedi- 
ately went out : "i his was the lad time he ever was in ChrifPs 
company. Alas! it was a long and lading farewell. v He fejl 
immediately into worfe company : He went directly to the chief 
Prieds and Pharifecs to covenant with them for fo much money 
in order to profecute his horrid enterprife. Strange ! was there 
no pious reflection in the bread of that perfidious traitor, to raife 
fuch a remorfe, as to flop the intended wickednefs ? No, little 
good is, or can be expe£ted to exift where Satan hath his feat. 
Is there nothing left in the breads of fwearers, fa^bath-breakers, 
and unclean perfons, to dop them in their career of wickednefs ? 
Can they not paufe for a moment, and confider. that the habitual 
P act ice of thefe fins ripens them as fad for hell, as betraying the 
Son of God for thirty pieces of filver. Such dial!, (like Judas) 
go to their own place. Strange ! who but Satan could move 
any man, efpecially a Difciple, to go and fell his Mader as if he 
had been felling an ox, or an afs. A goodly price indeed, he 
was fold at thirty pieces of filver. || How would it probably have 
grieved thofe who gave it, to have laid it out to anfwer the exi- 
gencies of the poor and needy, but with what cheerfulnefs do 

II About 3/. 15*. of our money. 

Let. 8. C 109 ) 

chcy offer it, and pay it down too, when by it, he st^rinfl 
whom they entertained the molt inveterate malice, v.:: 
livcred into their hands. It is very poffibfc, chat there may he 
found in the world a fecond edition of thofe wicked Pharifees, 
who may have monev to expend on cards and dice, hut n^ne 
tor a Bible ; and mav u<e the former, more than the iatrer. Jf 
Tudas had certain! v known the worth of his Mafic r, would he 
have been euiky of Hich an enormous crime ? If men knew, if 
they were hut at the baft pains to know the woith of their fouls; 
the true value of Chrifr, and his grace, they would never be io 
foolifh, as to fell all f r a beloved luff. O ye wilful abandoned 
finners, fee your geruine picture in this reprobate man ! And 
will you fell your fhaje of Chnit, his grace, his kingdom, afnd 
glory, for a bale luft, or to gratify a wicked difpofition. ! "As 
in water, face anfwers to face," io doth your conduct and beha- 
viour, anfwer to that of this traitor. Indeed, men cannot now 
act the very fame fin over again, they cannot fell Chrift to the 
Jewifh rules for thirty pieces of filver; but they can fell their 
fouls for a very little profit or pleafure. May God give finners 
eyes to fee, what an evil the very leaft fin is, and hearts utterly 
to abhor it. According to. feme, the price which Chrifl; was va- 
lued at, was the price ofafkve: The bldTed Jefus, muft lay 
his account while in this world, to fuffer every kind of indigni- 
ty, Strange ! The ).o d of all, fold as a ilave. And were not 
all mankind in a ftate of the vileft flavery ? Our glorious Re- 
deemer condefcended to be thus treated to refcue us. There 
was nothing too arduous to undertake, or ignominious to fuffer,, 
but Chrifl: cheerfully underwent, to ranfom enilaved finners. 
Alas! of what fmail account is religion in the eftimation of ma- 
Profane Efau fold his birtH-fight for a mefs (>t pottage. (] 
- :< A wicked man, (faith Solomon) will tran'.'grefs for a morfeJ 
oi bread." A wicked Judas, for the paltry , m of thirty pieces 
of filver will fell his Lord and Matter. But where lies the 
gain ? To fell one's foul, Heaven, and eternal glory, for a lit- 

The birth right which Efau fold contained thefe privileges, l. A 
double portion of his Father'* goods, Deut. xxi. 17. 2. Power 2nd 
dominion over the younger, for he iucceeded in the government of the 
family j or kingdom. Reuben thou art mv i ; .rit horn, the excellency 
of dignity, and the excellency of power, Gen. xlix. 3. 3. The ho- 
nour of priefthood in their own family. Exod. xxi v. 5. He fent the 
voung men, or, the firft born of the Sons of Ifrael, and they offered 
burnt-offerings, and facriheed peace-offerings before Jehovah. After- 
wards the Levites were taken into the fervice of God, inllead of the 
6rft born among the Children of Ifrael. This birth right Efau fold 
which evidenced what a profane, perfon he was. 

Let. 8. ( , 7 o ) 

tie pleafure, or profit. Such may perhaps, gain the pleafure of 
men of a like (tamp with themfelves, but oh ! Will this coun- 
terbalance the lofs of God's favour. W T hat will it profit a man, 
if he fhould gain the whole world, and lofe his own foul. The 
world can prove of no avaif in the hour of death ; it neither 
can bribe the king of terrors, nor afluage our agonizing pains. 
And for finful pleafures, which wicked men are fo ea^er to grafp 
at, and purfue after; a few years will render them as infipid, as 
they once were pleafant to the vitiated, depraved tafte of the 
Gnner. Oh ! what a foolifh bargain do finners make. 

After this covetous wretch had received the money, he pro- 
ceeds without the lead rcmorfe to accompiifh his wicked defign. 
The next thought that ftruck him, no doubt was, where he fhcu*I 
find him: He knew there was a garden nigh the c'.ty, where 

Jefus ufually refortedfor prayer, and he might pofllbly be theic ; 
e was not wrong in his conjecture, there he was, and accord: - 
to his ufual cuftom, praying. O ye facrilegious Jews, and you 
traiterous Judas, dare ye lay hands on that r acred body, dare ye 
approach that jacred place, rendered holy by the prefence, and 
exercifc of the blefTed Jefus ? Yes, they will approach the place ; 
lay violent hands on the Redeemer. There is.lcarce any degree 
of wickednefs too great for a profane man in the purfuit of his 

impious determinations.- The place is particularly fpecified 

where Jefus was apprehended: " In the garden." If was in the 
garden of Eden, where the firft fin reared up its curfed head in 
this world ; here it firft commenced ; here the wound was gi- 
ver?. In the garden of Gethfemane, the preparation of that me- 
dicine which heals our fouls, and reftores to the favour of God 
commences. This garden prior to this period, was fe^uef- 
t rated by Jefus for the purpofe of religious exercifes ; €t Jefus often, 
reforted thither with his difciples.'" How cheerfully, and volun- 
tarily did Jelus go to death: Coufd he not eafily have evaded 
the tenacious traitor? Could he not have retired to feme mope ' 
fecret place ? At other times, he fbunned death; but now I 
hour is come : His miuiftrations here on earth near accompli 
cd. Now he is willing to die; he will fhun death and danger 
po longer. When he knew all things concerning him were ac- 
compJiihed, he addrefTed himfelf to die, John. xix. 2&. Luke 
sxii. 53. When I was with you, (fays he to the Jews) daily 
in the temple, ye took me not, but this is vour hour. He was 
often in danger previous to this, and yet there were none that 
could t^uch him, becaufe his hour was not come. What excel- 
lent comfort to a chriftian; as it was with the head, fo will it be 
with the members; none can deprive them of their lite, until 
the time appointed of the father come. With the greateft in- 

Let. 8. ( 171 ) 

tf epidity, -and conftancy, he went forward to, meet ti 
were thirfting tor his Mood. The traitor had given tjicm a I 
that whofoevcr he fhou!d kifs that was he; !o cor«;in<r forward he 
faiuted his Lord thus, " Hail Matter, and kiflTed him."* O, 
what rreaclv:ry under the cloak of friendfhip! Would to G< d, 
the hypocritical farce had ended here: But alas! Men haye too 
eafily learned from the perfidious wretch, to pro] 1 ere Jove 

and regard for religion, when immediately engaged in the cx- 
ercifes thereof, hut in the tenor ot their converfatiQn betray it. 
Who would imagine, that men in the mo ft solemn manner, at 
the table of the Lord prpfefllng a mofl fincere attachment to Je- 
fus, and the interefts o( hoUnefs^ that thefe very men ihould, 
in the general courfe 01 their conduct make a counter decla- 

Scarce was the atrocious deed committed when he repented. 
JCothing can afford Satan more fntis:a£ticn, (if he can take plea- 
lure in any thing) than a finners late repentance. He pufne^ 
this miferable man .to this horrid a£t, then fuggefted to him that 
there was no forgivenps for him; and to put an end to a mifera- 
h'e exiftence, was all the way that was now lefr to better himfelf. 
Firft to betray h:s Lord, then to ufurp the prerogative or God, to 
take away that, which he neither could give, nor without the 
higheft impiety take away. O what wickednefs ! W : hen he faw 
►hat he was condemned, he repented, and went and hanged him- 
felf. Luke xxvh. 3, 5. Some have imagined that Judas 
Then he betrayed Cnrift might have thought that he would not 
have died; but either, that he would have conveyed himfelf out 
of the fo'diers hands, as he did when the multitude fought 1 
<p done him, or throw him down a precipice , or by fome mira- 
culous way would have prefervecj himfelf. But when he faw 
it ^ r as otherwife, he is not on!) forry for wli3t he had done, hut 
makes an explicit confchVn ox hi? fin; throws back the money, 
alawfully gotten, and therefore wot to be retained, but re- 
nounces that, with the fin, and proclaims the innocency of his 
Lord. Some have gojie 10 far as to pronounce him a true pent- 
tent ! They think, that they can find all the ingredients in true 
repentance, in hi*.; iuch as confeflion, forrow for what he baa 
done^ reftitution of the money as unlawfully gotten ', together 
with an open declaration of Chnft's innocency. There men 
muft certainly have a very ftrange idea ofatrqe repentance, and 
a true penitent. A true penitent, and yet hanging himfelf, j$ 
Somewhat odd. It he had truly repented of his fin, and believed 
t n the Lord jefus for falvation, we havenoreafon to think, that 
our Lord would have declared that, " it had been better for 
him, he had never been born." 


Let. 8. ( 172 ) 

Moreover, wns it not wonderful ftupidity in the chief Prirffs 
and Elders, that they could make this anfwer to Judas, i( Wha»- 
is that to us: 1 ' Did they think, that there was no crime in h : r- 
ing a man to betray innocent blond ? Did they not confefs, that 
this money was the of blood ? Was not the field they 
bought with it called Jlcehlama, the field of blood, a lading tefti- 
mony of their guilt ? And Stephen roundly tells them, " that 
they had been the betrayers, and murderers of the L^rd of-glory*" 
And they themfelvcs, when the miracles done in ChriuVs name 
had awakened their confeiences, began to be troubled, that the 

Aportles fhould bring this man's blood upon them. The in- 

fpired evangelift Matthew, chap, xxvii. v. 9. adds then was 
fulfilled that which was fpoken by the prophet Jeremiah, faying-, 
and they took the thirty pieces of filver, the price of him that 
was valued, whom the children of Ifrael did value j and gave 
them for the potters field as the Lord appointed me. The»e 
words being not in Jeremiah but in Zechariah, chap. xi. v, 12. 
nave greatly puzzled commentators. Some think, that the pro- 
phecy of Jeremiah was placed firft in the volume of the prophets, 
and fo became the running title of that whole volume; fo that, 
what was written in any of them, might be faid to be written by 
Jeremiah. But one can hardly think that the prophet Jeremi- 
ah, mould fignify lfaiah, Zechariah. Again, fome think it 
highly probabfe, that Jeremiah wrote the ix. x. and xi. chap- 
ters of Zechariah. Upon the whole, I would rather imagine, 
that the word Jeremiah had crept in through miftake., and that 
inftead of writing the prophet Jeremiah, it fhould have been the 
prophet Zechariah. It is certain that a number of vernons, in- 
ftefld of xvriting the prophet Jeremiah, only mention the prophet 
limply, without mentioning Jeremiah at all. 

You enquire, how the account which the evangelifr Matthew 
gives, can be reconciled with that which the infpired hiftorian 
Luke gives of the death of Judas. We are informed by the for- 
mer, cbao. xvvii. 5. that he, (Viz. Judas) caft down the 
pieces of Giver in the temple, and departed, and went and hand- 
ed feimfeJf. The tatter informs us, Acts i. 18.. that this man , 
(viz. Judas) purchafed a field with the reward of iniquity, and 
falling head-long) he burn; afundcr in the midft, and all his bow- 
els gufned not. You fay you fiud yourfelf at a very great lofs, 
to reconcile thefe two feemingly contradictory accounts I ima- 
gine Oncfimut that this may be very eafily done. 1 would look 
up^n Peter's account of this man's death, to be an improvement 
upon what Matthew had faid, confiding in a declaraticn of what 
followed upon his hanging himfelf: And thus hanging, he 
fcurit afundcr. and all his bowels guflicd. out ; or precipitating 


Let. 8. ( 173 ) 

-himfelf, he hurft in the middle. It is very probable, and I fee 
no reafon why it may not he admitted, that there was a more 
than ordinary providence in this extraordinary inftance, to ren- 
der the death of this traitor the more difmal, and remarkable, j] 
O ! difmai end of a more than wretched man. 

Confider that he had been in the very beft of company; fed 
at (Thrift's table; heard his heavenly do&rine, and no doubt 
along with the reft, affented to Peter's famous confefiion oi him, 
as (( the Son of the living God;" no doubt, had told the world 
lb; had ieen Satan fubjeel: to him; but alas! Now fo far con- 
quered by him, as for a 1 mall fum to .betray him ; and at lail to 
precipitate himfelf headlong into eternal deftru&ion. Do you 
reply, is not this fentence rafh, and presumptuous ? No, it is 
neither the one nor the other. Had not Chrifl: pronounced him 
a Devil, John vi. 31. a Son of perdition, chap. xvii. 12. and 
had peremptorily declared that it had been better for him he 
had never been born. . From fuch premifes, it cannot either be 
rafh or prefumptueus, neither a diving into Heaven's fecrets to 
fay he went into a place, prepared for, or due to fuch a mifcre- 
ant. tf The tree is known by its fruits. Would iL not be an 
excefs of charity both antifcriptural, and prejudicial to the inte- 
retrs of precious fouls, to footh them with this confideration; 
that notwithstanding they follow the footfteps cf this vile man in 
felling Chriil and their fouls, either for the profits or pleafures of 
a tranfitory li r e, to tell them J fay, that they are tbt Sons g/ God* 
O how careful ought the watch-men fet on Zion's walls to be, 
in giving faithful warning; and making a difference between 
the precious, and the vile; between him that fears God, and him 
that fears him not: To give to every one their portion of meat 
in due feafon. 

Permit me now Onefimus^ to touch a little at a few of ihofe 
incidents which attended our Lord's crucifixion. Before enter- 
ing on thefe I may drop a'hint or two with regard to the place 
where our Lord was crucified. It is de'eribed in the general, 
as a place without the city. M He Suffered without the gate.** 
Therefore Jefus that he might fanctiiy the people, &c. Heb. 
xiii. 12. The Levincal lacnfices werj offered up without the 
camp. Levit. xvi. 27. jefus therefore fuffered without the 
gite, to inform us that he was the true im-offering for his peo- 
ple; the great propitiatory foenfice that only could make a pro- 

H Some h.ive entertained this ftrange and unaccountable not;on. v't. 
that Joda* knowing, that Chrift was to ciefcend Into hell, to brir* 
thence the foals that were there; he went and hanged himfelf, that hh 
foul might get thither before him. and fo might thence be delrverel 
with the reft.' 

Let. 8. ( 174 ) 

per, real atonement before G«xl for our fins. Je'fir futTcrrcf 
without the gattfi of the earthly Jerulalem, to pave the way with? 
hrs own blood, for our entrance into that heavenly city whofc 
huilder and maker is God. Chrift was willing; to go arfV where, 
to naffer anv hardships for our pood. It was our eternal happi- 
nefs he had in" view, in the whole of his forrowfuf life, and cruel 
fnfFerincrj. ■ 'This place is particularly defigned Calvary, or 
Gi'colhti, the place of a flctiTI. This place wat> not onlv an infa- 
mous, but an abominable and loathlbme place*. A more fearful, 
and loathfome place our fins defcrved. With our fins imputed 
to Jefus, he went to Calvary for their expiation j and if it had not 
been fo, to hell the whole human race behoved inevitably to have 
?one, and there fuficred eternally. He died in the place of a 
(kull to fave us from the place ol the damned. || "He was hu'm- 
hered with tranfgreflbrs, and bore the (ins of many." He was 
taken to the place where malefactors were executed, as if he had 
heen the mofl noted felon ever was put to death. In a word, the 
captain of our falvation difdained not to die 01? Calvary's 1 mount 
irr order that he might bring manv fans to gloty. 

I proceed now Oneftmus, to offer to your confederation a few 
of thofe remarkable incidents which occurred during our Lord's 
crucifix i or*. And the fir ft that prefents itfelf to our view, and 
peculiarly claims our notice is, the converfion of the Thief on 
the crofs. The evangelifts Mark and John, mention this but 
very curforily: Luke informs us, that one of the malefa&oYS 
which were hanged railed on him, faying, " if thoU be Ghrift, 
fave thyfelf, and us." The evangelift Matthew mentions them 
both as joining in concert with the multitude, in revilirfg the 
Son of God. " The Thieves alfo Which were crucified with 
him caft th£ fame in his teeth," chap, xxvii. 44. The diffe- 
rence: between thefe two accounts lies here ; that after they were 
all nailed to the tree, and probably for a considerable time? after, 
both the Thieves, joined hand in hand in reviling the Son of God, 
this gldrious fuffererj this agrees with the account Matthew" 
^ives. But fome ihort time before Jefus expired, God grarited 
to One of thefe Thieves repentance unto life ; as a figna' tcftimo- 
ny of the fovcrtignty of his mercy, and the power of his grace; 


H Ic was an ancient tradition, that this place was called the place of 
a fkull, becaufe Adam was buried there: And therefore Jefus Chrift 
who was to heal the fall of Adam mud be crucified there * that where 
death commenced, there might lie its deftruclion. Others think, it Was 
fo called- front its figure, it being round like a fkulh But probably H 
WTrt fa called upon the afecount of the bones and fkulh of inaleft Afrf 
tfho were executed and left there. 

( < 


Let. 8. C 175 ) 

This reconciles the account which Luke gives with that of 
Matthew. |j Let us take a view Oneftmus, of the difadvantage- 
ous c ire urn fiances under which this malefactor laboured at the 
time of his converfion. The Jews mocking, reviling, and rail- 
in t at the object of his faith; his fellow-fuffwrer fecondiirg their 
blafphemous language, why he might think, " is it poflible that 
44 this can be the Saviour, the promifed Mefliah. If he was 
" fuch as he has all along reprefented himfelf to be, Would thefe 
4f {age Priefts, thefe learned Scribes, and venerable Elders mock 
'f and revile him at the rate they do ; or, if he was could he en- 
" dure it, without the moll fignal vengeance executed on them. 
" Why, if it were true that he faved others, why will be, not 
'{ fave himfelf ? The report was current that he raifed Lazarus 
<{ from the dead; why can he not with more eafe fave himfelf 
(i from dvinff, than raife the dead ? This report had been in- 
" duftriouflv propagated by his difciples and fo ! lowers to raife 
his reputation ; but alas \ it is now funk lower than ever they 
advanced it. Can 1 credit my fenfes at this prefent jun&ure, 1 
and yet believe on him as the Mefliah ? Can I e*pe& pardon 
from him, whom Pilate has condemned I Or (alvatiort from 
hell by one that cannot fave himfelf from dying in Golgotha. 
lt To revile a fellow-fufferer, is indeed an indecent deportment 
*' on fuch an occalion ; I have other matters on hand; Eterni- 
" ty is before me: But at the fame time, is it poflible, that I 
44 can expect falvation from the curfe by one who hangs on the 
** crofs V' If this man had been prefent on fomc" former oc- 
casions, when Jefus was gloricufly triumphing in the power of 
his God-head, it would not ftrike us with any furprife to hear 
h;m crying out, fC Lord remember me, wherl thou comefr. to 
thy kingdom." Bat here he beholds him in a flate of the lowelt 


II According to the ^lafaic h w, no Thieves were to be put to death : 
Restitution in proportion to .what they had iloien, was to be rnnde ; 
but no capita! puniihment to be infl'&ed. But the Jew i lit nation being 
a part of tr.e Roman Empire, and for the moll part governed by Romaa 
laWs, this crime as well as murder might be capitally pummed. A 
mortifying KfL-Ciicn to dispeople, to fee two men dying contrary to 
that law delivered to them immediately by God himfelf. The ac- 
knowledgment they made of the j-dtice of their fentence and death, 
(ax leaft one of them) argues either, that there Wa< fomethmg morfc 
witfy which they were chargeable than fimple theft ; or t rat according ro 
theRpmaa law to which che^y were thenfubjett, tiiey juftly defer ved death;- •• 
Thofe crimes among the Jews which had no tendency to the immediate ' 
duturbance of foci cty, were left to themfeives to puniih as they thought 
proper; arid that without consulting the Roman Pretor^ r -c'h as biaf- 
pKerfiy, *c. Hence the jews put Stephen immediately to death witL- 
oat Cv^f etttrfulting the Governor. 

Let. 8. ( 176 ) 

debafement. Had he fecn him walking on the liquid element^ 
pouring day-lijrht into the eye-Kails of the blind, unftopping the 
deal cars, making the lasnr man to hart, and the 

ic of the dunv> to fins;; in a word, if lit: had fees him 
dcanfing the leper, calling out Devils, and raiding the dead; 
and to h.we believed in him as the Meifiih, would h: ve been 
little matter of furpnie. But in the cafe before us, inftead of giv- 
ing life to otriers, he was condemned, led to the place of execu- 
tion, and hung up between two Thieves, as if he had been the 
greatest of the two. Mole:, believed God, but it was when he 
fpake out of the burning bulb: Abraham (bowed all manner of 
obedience to the commands of God, and all manner of rea- 
dinefs to leave his native country; but it was when God ad- 
dreifed him out of Heaven ; the Patriarchs believed, when God 
fpoke in dreams, and vifions; the disciples were cye-witneffes of 
his miracles: But the poor Thief was converted, when he faw 
none of thefe wonders; but Chnft in the deepen 1 debafement, his 
hands and feet nailed to the crofs, infulted by the multitude as 
one unable, either to help himfelf, or others: And probably this 
might be the firfl: time that ever he knew any thing about Jefus, 
otherwife than by report.-— -How inexcusable think, you Oneft- 
mus, mud they be, who betake not themlelves to the Lord Jefus 
now when exalted to his glorious throne in Heaven } exalted 
with the Father's right hand, a prince and a Saviour, to give re- 
pentance to Ifrael and remifiion of fins. Will not this extra- 
ordinary man rife up in judgment againfr. gofpel -hearers whofe 
language is, we will not have a humbled debafed Saviour, no, 
nor an exalted glorified Jefus to reign over us. It certainly will 
be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judg- 
ment, than for fuch as live under the difpenfation of the gofpel, 
and yet through their unbelief, their love of plcafurc or profit, 
defpife his perfon, and trample his blood under their feet. How- 
ever the impenitent Thief may plead an arreft of judgment at 
God's bar, confidering the circumtlances he laboured under at 
his death ; I am fure, we have, we can have no plea. We know 
a comiortablc doctrine he was igilorant of, that " there is no 
other name given under Heaven, and among men, whereby we 
cam he lav;d but the name of Jefus." We know, at leaft we 
fhould, that that bale and ignominous death which he fuflfered 
on that occafion is the fource and origin of our life of grace and 
hoiinefs here, and of eternal glory hereafter. Thefe were things 
hard to be underftood by that poor wretched man at this period; 
he laboured under every poffible difadvantage. Oh where is our 
faith ! Do you reply, the chriftian world believes all thefe things : 
But can that be a faving faith which confifts only in a general 


Let. 8. ( 177 ) 

fpeculative belief of thefe things? An unholy believer is a fole- 
cifm in divinity : A believer, and yet wallowing in all manner 
of impurity ! Faith purifies the heart, works by love, and over- 
comes the world. Is it poflible, that men who profane God's 
name and day, get drunk with the drunkard, and partake with 
the Adulterers, can be numbered with true believers ? That 
faith which has for its fruit the falvation of the foul, is attended 
with univerfal holinefs. 

It is worthy our notice alfo the time of his convcrfmn, the laft 
day of his exigence, and very probably the laft hour. It is very 
likely that this man had lived in the moft criminal carelefnefs 
with regard to the immortal interefts of his foul to this very hour. 
When others were enquiring about Chrift, who he was ? What 
he did ? The miracles which he wrought, the doctrines which 
he taught ? So carelefs and indifferent was he; that he regard- 
ed nothing, but what had an immediate reference to this prefent 
life. Now his laft caft for eternity was come: The time was 
fhort; the work was important: What, can he do ? Where can 
he fiy for help ? To look back on his by-paft life was mocking; 
to look forward to that tribunal before which he muft inftantly 
appear, his foul recoils at the very idea. In this very critical 
moment, the laft moment; it pleafed God to reveal his Son in, 
and to him. Juft before launching into eternity, he claims, and 
lays hold on Jefus fufTering on the crofs hard by himfelf; as he 
who was able to fave to the very uttermoft, all that come unto 
God by him. He believed, that even in that low debafed ftate 
in which he now appeared, he was able to fave him, and make 
interceffion for him. 

•j This man improved his time at laft in fuch an extraordinary 
manner, as perhaps no man ever did before, or will hereafter. 
Within a few moments of eternity, he fet to his feal that God is 
true> by believing the record God gave of his Son. He believ- 
ed Jefus to be the Median, the Saviour of the world, when one 
of his difciples had betrayed him, another denied him, and all 
had forfaken him. When he was hanging on the crofs, fufTer- 
ing the pangs of death, and deferted by his Father; he proclaims 
him Lord of Paradife. When the Jews condemned him, the 
Gentiles crucified him as an impoftor, and a malefactor; he 
feared God, acknowledged the juftice of his fufferings, and with 
patience and refignation fubmitted to them. He condemned 
himfelf, and juftified the holy Jefus; declaring that he had done 
nothing amifs. He was folicitous not for the prefervation of 
hj,s body, but for the falvation of his foul ; and not only for the 
iaWation of his own foul, but that of his fellow- fuflercf ; whom 


Let. 8. ( 178 ) 

he (a meekly reprehends, and fo earneflly requefts not to pro- 
ceed in his blafphemous language; and lovingly invites to the 
fear of God. So that the glory which redounded to Chrift by his 
faith and piety upon the crofs, feems fuch, as the whole feries of 
a religious life in fome other men, can hardly parallel. 

Whatever God might do in adorable Sovereignty with fuch a 
man, whole light in comparison of ours was hut darknefs; none 
need expect from this inftance, that he will repeat the fame fo- 
vereign a6t To delay repentance to a death-bed in hopes of 
meeting with mercy and falvation, is the only, and effectual me- 
thod to bar up all egrefs of mercy towards finners. Nothing will 
make men carelefs about falvation, but a love for unlawful plea- 
fures, and a greedy third after the enjoyments of a prefent life. 
But for men to purfuethefe things, and defer things of eternal 
moment to the laft, what folly and frupidity ! That is to- fay, 
■when they have loft all tafte for unlawful pleafures; when they 
can purfue the world no longer; then, as the common phrafc is, 
they will turn good. If this is not the cafe, what can be the rca- 
fon, that men are not more anxious about eternity, and the in- 
terefts of their immortal fouls than they are ? Do men imagine 
that God will fave them in their fins? He will as foon ceafc to 
exift, which is impofiible. O let none delay repentance to a 
death-bed, expecting to find it there ; unlefs they can place them- 
fclves in the fame circumftances with the Thief on theciofs: 
Nor even then itfelf, if they delay it with this view. Some di- 
vines of eminent note, have been, and are of opinion, that a 
death-bed repentance is never fincere. I would not go fo far; 
but indeed there is all the reafon in the world to fufpe& it. Some 
who in their own, and in the opinion of others, have been on 
the verge of eternity; and to all appearance have been deeply 
humbled for their paft fins ; who when recovered, evidenced that 
all proceeded from a fervile fear of wrath; by " returning like 
the dog to his vomit," to their former courfc of finning. That 
mv Oneftmut may encreafe more and more in his hatred to fin, 
and love to holincfs, is the mod fincere wiih of his 


U E T. 

Let. 9. ( 179 ) 

P H I L E M ON to O N E S I M U £. 

Dear Onefimus, 

VTOUR kind letter came fafe to my hand ; I am much indent- 
* ed to you for the intelligence it contains : But am very lor- 
ry to (earn, that feveral of your acquaintances have fuffered (o 
feverely, in confequence of the late dreadful thunder-ftorm. You 
hint in yours, that you was greatly alarmed; I think no won- 
der, the thunder is. the voice, and the awful voice too, of the 
Almighty. The awful thunder, and the frig 1 tful tempeft, are 
as much the works of the Almighty* as the mod tempting fruits, 
or the mod flagrant flowers. Yes, he gathers that vail aflem- 
bla^e of clouds, which, when agitated by the winds, and charged 
with inflammable fulphurcous matter, is productive of that alarm- 
ing noite, and oftentimes proves deftru&ive both to man and 
bead. The mod nauieous medicines are the effects of his cre- 
ating power, as well as the moll: palatable dainties. The Al- 
mighty Lord of all is honoured and obeyed by the .mod outrage- 
ous dorms, as well as by the gentled zephyrs : Yea there is not 
one of all his creatures, how mean foever, but what proclaims 
his praife; and all of them perform their refpe&ive functions, in 
the mod ablolute obedience and fubmilTion to his divine will; 
and although they have neither fpecch nor language, yet their 
voices arc heard. 

What though in folemn filence all 
Move round the dark terreftrial ball j 
What though no real voice nor found, 
Amidft their radiant orbs be found; 
In reafon's ear they all rejoice, 
And utter forth a glorious voice, 
For ever finging as they fhine, 
The hand that made us is divine. 

The fun who invigorates and enlivens aU nature, promptt, 
(at lead (hould) to the adoration of him, in whom we lire, move 


N 2 

Let. 9. ( 180 ) 

and have our being; the author of all our mercies, the ever- 
flowing fountain from whence all the good things we fhare of, 
both of nature and grace Mows. The light which embellifhes 
and gives a grace to the whole creation, is a mod lively reprc- 
fentation of him, who is the fource and quintelTence of all beau- 
ty and perfection. || The rivers, the forefts, the verdure, the 
flowers, the fruits, unanimoufly confpire to demonftrate the 
goodnefs of their great Creator, and his tender concern for the 
good and welfare of his creatures. The awful voice, however, 
of his thunder is intended to roufc thofe out of their lethargy, 
who either ahufc, or feem infenfible of his favours; and though 
it does not often ftrike them dead, yet it at leaft alarms them, 
and ferves them as a leflbn of inftru&ion. Every object which 
we fee proclaims the glory of the great Creator, and is either a 
difplay of his divine indulgence, that we may be cordially drawn 
to love him, or a demonftration of his terror, in order to ilir us 
up to fear him. 

You enquire in yours, how the thunder is formed? What is 
the immediate procuring caufe of it ? It is not my province to 
enter upon, or give a particular account of the formation of this 
awful phaenomenon ; this I leave to the natural Philofopher. But, 
in anfwer to your query, allow me, in a few hints to give you 
my fentiments on this head. 

Let me obferve then, that one particular effect of the air is 
the evaporation of the waters: This, however at firft view may 
feem altogether impoflible and repugnant to reafon, as water is 
a much more weighty body than the air, yet nothing is more 
certain. \ The inflammable matter which the fun darts down 
upon the earth, penetrates with eafe through the furface of all 
bodies which are moid and fluid; fo that there is not only an 
evaporation of the waters, but of feveral other heterogeneous bo- 
dies along with it; namely, the volatile falts, the oils, the fu!- 
pimr, and divers others corpufclcs, which either proceed from the 
flefh of animals, or flow from the bowels of the earth, or from 
mine? in the fea; where they either incorporate with the water, 
or, for the mod part float on the furface of it like froth. 

The atmofphere being thus replenifhed with this fulphureous 
matter, with a quantity of air in the fmall globules of water fuf- 


H We have a threefold concife, but very emphatic defcription of 
God in Scripture; God is light, God is love, God is a Spirit. 

. t Ttie other effects of the air are obvious.; fuch as the winds, the 
vegetation of plants, and the digeftion, as well as the nutriment of ail 
living creatures: The air, likewife, is the vehicle of founds, fmells, 
and in fome fenfe, of light itfclf. 

Let. 9. ( 181 ) 

pended above our heads by the evaporation of the fun, they ei- 
ther fink by flow degrees, ordefcend with impetuofity in various 
(bapes of mifts, mildews, dews, or gentle rains. If in their de- 
fcent, they meet with an air fo cold as to congeal them, they arc 
formed according to their condenfation, in flakes of fnow of va- 
rious fizes; and as fuch fnow is always compofed of oil, volatile 
falts, and a particle of fire enclofed in the centre of that little 
condenfed mafs, as in a cover, it muft of confequence follow, 
that thofe lands on which it falls mud be greatly improved and 
rendered fertile. 

Again, if a torrent of air impells or dafhes one large cloud 
againtT: another with violence, then a confiderable part of thefe 
fmall veficles of water which ftand fufpended over our heads, 
burft; the water whereof they were compofed, flows on every 
fide, and falls either in letter or greater drops, according to the 
diftance of the cloud; or in a perpendicular or circular direction, 
according to the aftion of the winds- Our fall of rain in drops 
from the clouds increafes in proportion as the drops incorporate 
m their fall : And the diftance of the clouds determines for the 
mod part this incorporation. The rain which defcends from 
thofe clcuds which immediately hover over our heads, and which 
we fometimes, almoft touch, is very fmall; whereas thofe drops 
which fall from more diftant clouds, are of a larger circumfe- 

The atmofphere con filling of feverai regions, or beds of air, 
expanded one over another, whofe difpofitions alter according to 
the various qualities of thofe winds which aft upon it, it frequent- 
ly happens, that the drops of rain, meet as they fall, in fome re- 
gion of the air which iscold enough to congeal them in their paf- 
fage: Thus modified they are termed hail-ftones: The hulk or 
fize whereof, is always determined by that of the drops of rain 
fo congealed in their defcent. 

From thofe particles of fire pent up in the centre of thofe vef- 
fels before mentioned, and rrom thofe other oily, fulphureous, 
nitrous and combuftible particles, which the water had carried 
along with it into the upper regions of the air, a train of inflam- 
mable matter is formed, which becomes more or lefs vifible, in 
proportion to the ftren^th and dimensions of it. If the quantity 
of fiery particles only forms a fmall globule of fire, that foon breaks 
and difperfes, Ihoots intoaftream of light, and immediately dif- 
anpears ; fuch a phaenomenon is generally termed a falling-fiar : 
Of the fame nature, probably, is that great ftream of light, which 
in appearance fhoots from one fide of the hemifphere to the other, 
and which we call a fire-dragon : The aurora borealis 9 or what is 
commonly called y?r earners, are of the fame nature. 


Let. 9. (182 ) 

Ap;ain, if fuch a ftream nf lii»ht be extended farther; or metis 
with a ftream of other matter, to which it fcts fire as it rolls along:, 
it is then termed lightning. If fuch a dream of inflammable mat- 
ter darts down like 3 torrent of fire, it is called a thunder -bolt i 
the ef7v6tg '.v hereof are different according to the action of the 
wind. ;:ua the power and malignity of the ingredients whereof 
fuch flaihes are compofed. 

The air contained in thofe fmall globules of water already ta- 

erj notice of, being rarefied, it can exert its ela/lic force no 
• ier way than by bunting through them by a terrible exp ; ofion, 
"hich awful crack is what we call thunder : And though this vi> 
cL'nt crack, or clap, is but one fingle act, yet there feems to be 
i repetition of it, and lads for fome confiderable time; becauf© 
I .* found is reflected trom the furfaces of feveral adjacent clouds, 
and repeated by as many echoes. 

Naturalids take notice of a threefold wind which generally at- 
tend a thunder-dorm. The firft which blows before it, the bo- 
dy of th* cloud blows for the mod part in a circular direction. 
There is another which blows at the fame time from a quite dif- 
ferent quarter, which occafions the meeting of the clouds, and 
their clafhing one againft another: After the lightning, and the 
clap of thunder, the fudden and tremendous (hock of a third wind 
is felt, which is that air difcharged from the middle of the cloud : 
This wind carries along with it a fuffbeatinghcat: Sometimes it 
difperfes an intolerable flench of fulphur; from whence the na- 
ture of thofe materials which were conveyed into the regions of 
the air alon? with the vapours may be cafily difcovered. 

When different winds rufli forth from the centre of different 
clouds, and join with thofe which blew before, the dorm increaf- 
■~s; the air whirls rounds in rapid eddies; the fmoke indantly 
descends, the dult rifes, the darknels gathers, the raj n pours down 
in floods, the lightning, hail, and thunder, all contribute to a 
general defolation. The flowery meadows, and the country 
round are all laid waite. Is it porTible do you fay, that fuch ir- 
regularities as thefe, which put all nature into a general conircr- 
nation, can be the handy- work of an all -wife Creator ? Yes, 
Onefimus, it is as much the refult of fore-fight and defign, as that 
law of motion is, by which it was occafioned. 

The royal Pialmilt describes this adonifhing phenomenon in 
all the fublimity of language, bcth in its nature and effects.— 
The voice of Jehovah is upon the waters; the God of glory 
tbunderrtb, the Lord is upon many waters. The voice of Jeho- 
vah is powerful; uhe voice of Jehovah is full of majedy. The 
voice of Jehovah breaketh the cedars: Yea Jehovah breaketh 
the cedars of Lebanon. He makcth thfem to (kip like a calf : 


Let. 9. ( 183 ) 

Lebanon, and Sirion, like a young Unicom, &c. || We find, 
Milton, amoRg other parts of the armour which the Eternal Fa- 
ther orders Mefliah to put on, in order to drive the revolted 
Angc!s out of Heaven, mentions his thunder as onei 

Bring forth all my war, 

Mv bow and thunder, my Almighty arms 
Gird on, and fword upon thy puhTant thigh. 

When Mefliah is preparing to execute his commiflion, he re- 
presents the chariot of Paternal Deity rufhing forth with a whirl- 
wind, and drawn by four cherubic fhapes, and compofed of the 
radiant urim divinely wrought: Afcending the fame: 

• -At his right hand victory 

Sat Eagle- winged, befide him hung his bow 

And quiver, with three-bolted thunder ftor'd, / 

And from him fierce effufion roll'd 

Offmoke, and bickering flame, and fparkles dire. 

And when actually engaged againft thofe rebellions hods, the 
Poet reprefents Mefliah. as grafping ten thoufand thunders in his 
right hand. 

Full foon. 

Among them he arriv'd, in his righr hard 
Grafping ten thoufand thunders^ which he fent 
Before him. 

But adds the Poet, 

Yet half his ftrength he put not forth, but check'd 

His thunder in mid vollev ; for he meant 

Not to deftroy, but root them out of Heaven. X 

It is very probable, the Poet borrows his imagery here from 
the facred Scriptures; where the power and vengeance of the 
Almighty is figu r atively compared to thunder 'See in what 

fublime, but terrific language, the royal Pfalmift reprefents the 
venzeance of Heaven againfr. his foes. At the brightnefs be- 
fore him, his thick, clc.ids pafled, hail-ftones and coals of fire. 
The Lord alfo thundered in the Heavens, and the Higlieft gave 
his voice, hail-ftones and coals of fire. Yea he fent out his ar- 
rows and fcattered them; and he (hot out lightnings and dif- 
comfited them, f 

11 Pfalm xxix. - t Paradife loft, book VI. 

t Pfalm xviii. 12, 13, 14. 

Let. 9. ( 184 ) 

We find the fame figurative language ufed elfewherc, to ex- 
prefs God's vengeance againft the enemies of his chofen people. 
The clouds poured out water, the Ikies fent out a found; thine 
arfows alfo went abroad. The voice of thy thunder wat in the 
Heavens; the lightnings lightened the world, the earth trem- 
bled and (hook, \ 

We alfo find, that it was no unufual thing for the heathen 
Poets to reprefent the wrath and vengeance of their angry Gods 
in the fame figurative language ; an example of which we find 
in Horace. , 

Scimus ut impios — 

Titanas, immanemque turmam 

Fulmine fuftulerit caduco, 

Qui terrain inertem, qui mare temperat 

Ventofum, & umbras regnaque triftia, 

Divofque mortalefque turbas 

Imperio regit unus aequo. 

Magnum ilia terrorem intulerit Jovi, 

Fidens juventus horrida brachiis, 

Fratrefque tendentes opaco, 

Pelion impofuit Olympo. II 

O'er Gods and mortals ; o'er the dreary plains, 

And lhadowy Ghofts, fupremely juft he reigns, 

But, dreadful in his wrath, to Hell purfu'd, 

With falling Thunders dire, the fierce Titanian Brood. 

Whofe horrid youth, elate with impious pride, 

Unnumher'd on their finewy force relied; 

Mountain on Mountain pil'd they rais'd in air, 

And fhook the throne of Jove, and bad the Thunderer fear. | 

Thefe awful and alarming convulfions in the air, arc not only 
intended as an admonition to men, hut they are in a certain de- 
gree falutary : They purge the air, which by a too long ftagna- 
tion would prove unwholefome. They deftroy, Iikewife, an in- 
finite number of infects which, though in fome refpe&s ufeful 
enough, would become pernicious and deftrucYive to mankind, 
were they to multiply without reftricYion. They alio fill the 
ciftems and refervoirs of fuch countries as have no fprings, and 
fupply our rivers with more water in one hour, than all the win- 
ter fhowers of rain in fevcral months. There is mercy mixed 
with judgment, in all the providential difpenfations of Heaven 
towards the children of men. 


f Pfal. lxxvii. 17, 18. H Horat. Lib. 3. Ode IV. ad Calliopen. 
t Philip's tranflat. 

Let. 9- ( i8 5 ) 

Allow me to obferve here, Oneftmus, that the fame caufes 
which produce fuch fhocking effects over our heads, predate 
likewife, as faral *ffe6ts under our feet ; namely, earthquakes, 
and eruptions of volcanoes; the fame water, the fame air, and 
the Tame fulphurepus matter, which rend the atmofphere, lead 
and torture the bowels of the earth. 

Such vapours as are condenfed, and difril in rain, carry along 
with them the falt-petrc thar lies on the furface of the earth, the 
falts with which the bodies of animals abound, and all the other 
fulphureous inflammable matter which they meet with in their 
pailage. Thefe waters make their way into the bowels of the 
earth, through an infinite number of fmall crevices or channels. 
Sometimes they pafs Over a bed of fait ; at other times, over 
layers of fulphur; here they pafs through large mines of iron; 
there through beds of vitriol: They diflblve, and carry along 
with them divers particles of all thefe feveral materials. Now 
all thefe being lodged in the bowels of the earth, the lead parti- 
cle of tire brought thither by the action of the wind, or by means 
of fermentation, which is no uncommon thing among fulphu- 
reous and metallic bodies, or by feme fmall quantity of fulphur, 
which burns in the fubterraneous caverns of the earth, inflames 
the whole: And thefe are fuch terrible, and powerful agents, 
that they make the earth fhake and tremble wherever they meet 
with the lead refinance. They fwallow up whole towns; yea 
the whole terrenrial globe would foon be laid wafte, it their rage 
and fury was not checked by the Almighty. 

Thofe volcanoes which are confidered by thofe who live near 
them, as judgments, and the plagues of their country, are af- 
figned by the indulgence of the Almighty, for their welfare and 
prefervation. By thefe is a vent opened, through which the con- 
denfed air, with all thofe other combuftible materials which rend 
the very bowels of the earth, have room to difcharge their fury. 
All thefe inflammable materials when difperfed in the open air, 
lofe their active powers, which, when united, would be irrelifti- 
fcle, and drive before them every thing that oppofed their pafTagc. 

You fee One/imus, that as we are fearfully and wonderfully 
made, we are fearfully and wonderfully preserved. We live in 
the very centre of danger. It would be eafy for the Almighty 
to make the earth we tread on, the Heavens above us, to be the 
executioners of his vengeance. In the Almighty's quiver there 
are numberlefs arrows, which he may (hoot when, and how he 
pleafes. Happy for fuch who although they live in the heart of 
danger, yet dwell in the fecret place of the mod high, and abide 
under the lhadow of the Almighty : Who are covered with his 
feathers, and under whofe wings is their truft. Such need not 

H Pfal. xci. 

Let. 9. ( 1 36 ) 

he afraid for the terror by niq;ht, nor for the arrow that ftierh by 
day: Nor for the pcftilence that walketh in daiknefs, nor for de- 
ftru&ion that walketh at noon day. || If they mould fall in the 
genera! calamity, if the arrow that wounds the head of the wiek» 
ed reaches them, it is but a paternal ftroke; their fouls are fafe. 
The Lord keepeth the fouls of his Saints, he preferveth them 
from all evil. May my Oneftmus be among that happy number, 
then he will have no caufe to dread, either the rending Ikies, or 
the trembling earth. 

I come now to anfwer your requeft in continuing my ohferva- 
tions with regard to the Thief on the crofs, which I left unfinifh- 
ed in my lafl:. And may I not add here, whit an inftance, an 
unparalleled inftance of the fovcreignty of God's triumphing 
grace over a bafe finner! What made this man differ from his 
neighbour ? What ftopt his blafphemous tongue, and opened his 
obdurate heart to embrace Chrift Jefus the Lord, as his Saviour 
from fin and wrath ? Did thefe motions towards Jefus, that ha- 
tred to his former life, and that love to holinefs which vp.s now 
be<Tot in his foul, proceed from himfelf ? Are not thefe things to 
be referred entirely to the foverejgn grace, and efficacious power 
of God ; t% who doth according to his will in the a-rmies of Hea- 
ven, and amongft the inhabitants of the Earth." Why did 
this man repent, and not his fellow ? Was his repentance folely 
an a& of his own ? Was it a work independent of the fpirit of 
grace and fupplication ? If repentance can commence without 
any reference to Heaven's gracious aid, why is God faid to have 
" granted to the Gentiles repentance unto life ?" Why is Jefus 
faid to be " exalted with the Father's right hand, a prince and a 
Saviour, to give repentance unto Ifrael?" Why then did this 
man believe in the Lord Jefus Crrrift, and turn from the love of 
fin, ro the love of holinefs ? We muft refer it entirely to the fo- 
vereign good pleaftire of God; in granting faith and repentance 
to the one, and withholding it from the other. " I thank thee 
(fays our Lord) O Father, Lord of Heaven and Earth; becaufc 
thou haft hid thefe things from the wife and prudent, and ha$ 
revealed them unto babes." Independent of that heavenly grace 
of faith, of which God is the iole Author; what could the one 
fee in Jefus more than the other : The one taw as well as the 
other, J 'fits the Saviour, hanging all forlorn between Heaven 
and Earth, a fpeclacle of miferies and the reproach of men ; both 
faw him opprcft and afflicted, deferred by his friends, left by his 
Difciplesin the hands of his cruel foes, without ufing any means 
for his refcue. But why did the one fee Jefus fullering as a pro^ 
pitiation for fin, crucified through weahnefr, yet was able to fave 
him from going down to the pit ? not this Heaven's graci- 

Let. 9. ( 187 ) 

mis gift > " The Lard giveth the blind their fight." Gtaf, the 
foverci^n Lord ot his own ^ifts and graces, grants not faith and 
repen^.nc? to thofe whom he fees will believe -and repent; I 
he beftowrs rbefe gifts that tinners may Relieve and repent. V. 
this man prirr to this critical pencd, a man of ftnet morals of an 
unblem.ined-chara&er ? Th ; s f^oes a great 'enqth with rr,mv, 2s 
they imagine, to purcha'e and procure rtfegrsctJ and favir 
God. The contrary of this is evident : an^ed f<>r tr 

Independent of faith, God's free gift ; we know of no act &h rr ; e 
creature can perform foimalh Yea thife very actions 

which we are apt 10 deem works t f riglrteoufricfs* will be found 
in the eyes of divine purity to ^ I :d fifls. " Without 

faith ir is imp^ilible to p'eafe God." " " \\ ho mnketh rhee to 
differ from another ?" No previous . ks, no inherent s-ood 

qualifications or amiable difpontions, made the difference be- 
tween this man and his fellow. Previous to the converfion of 
the great Apoftle or the Gentiles, what good work can be attri- 
buted to him* If a feries of perlecutions, blafphemv, rure and 
madnefs agai nil God's ano ; nted and h:s followers, could be re- 
commendations to the God of holinefs and purity, thefe he pof- 
feded in an eminent degree. 

To imagine, we can by any work of nur's obligate the divine 
Being to forgive our fins, accept our perfons, and grant his fa- 
vour and grace; is fuhjecting the fovercign oi all to the will of 
the creature, and to a ftate of dependance on the creature; and 
what is this, but in efre& /naking him no God. Abfolute fewe- 
reignty is an effential, unalienable pearl in the crown of Hea- 
ven. If God was to fearch the whole univerfe for fuch moral 
qualifications in a rational creatu r e as the moving caufe of his 
bellowing faith, repentance, or pardon ; I aver he could not find 
any fuch : The caufe is only rendent in himfelf, not in the 
creature. " By the -race of G<^d, I am what I am." — Why was A- 
bei a gracious, a good man, and Cain a profligate wicked \vr. tch ? 
Was it owing to their birth? Dd they not lie in the fame 
womb? Were they not equally defcenriuars of fallen Adam? 
Hoth by nature children of wrath. Was it not God's fovereign 
grace, and free difinterefted love that made thediftinction ? Here 
was fhown a {landing example ci the lover. ignty of his grace to 
fmure periods in the fir(l poftcrity of man. Why did he give 
grace to Abraham, ana* fcparated him from his idolatrous kindred > 
and dignified him to be the root of the Median ? Might he nr^ 
have choftn his Father, or Grand-father, or any other perfon 
that- idolatrous country as well as the Father of the faithful ? 
Grace -would have made the fame change on any, as well as on 
iybrahara. The- fame- faith and repentance granted to the peni- 

Let. 9. ( 188 ) 

tent Thief, beftowed on the other, would have made him a be- 
liever and a penitent.— Why did God confine his .promife to 
Ifaac; and not extend it to Iftimael, the feed of the fame Abra- 
ham by Hagar ? Or to the children he had by Keturah after 
Sarah's death > What reafon can be alledged for this, but his 
own fovereign good pleafure. Why did he not give the fallen 
Angels a moment for repentance after their fin ; but condemned 
them immediately to irrevocable pains ? Is it not as free for him 
to give grace to any he pleafes, as to create what worlds he pleaf- 
cs ? W T hy doth he not give all Converts an equal meafure of 
grace ? Some have mites, others have treafures. Why doth he 
give his grace to fome fooner,. to others later ? Some are fandi- 
fied almoft from the womb; others not until they arrive at full 
age; fome not until they have fallen into fome grievous (in, as 
Manaffeh, Mary Magdalen, and Paul ; Some at the laft period 

of their exiftence as the Thief What reafon can be affigned 

for all this, but God's own fovereign good will and pleafure ? 
He is the free difpofer of his own grace. But this uneontrola- 
ble fovereign, by no means renders his fovereignty formidable. 
He fliuts not up his throne of grace from any that feek him ; he 
invites men, all men; his arms are open, and the fceptre ftrctch- 
ed out; and no man continues under the arreft of his lufts, but 
he that is unwilling to be otherwife ; and fuch a one hath no 
reafon to complain of God. 

There is Oneftmus in the hearts Of all men fuch a principle of 
legal pride, that they with to have as little of God's fovereignty 
intermixed with their religious principles as poflible. To main- 
tain and believe this, lays all felf-gloriation in the dull; exalte* 
the grace of God upon the ruins of human pride. " Stand by, 
I am holier than thou," is the language of a proud pharifaical 
fpirit ; by no means that of a genuine humble chriftian, who fees 
he is an entire debtor to the free grace of God for all he poflefTes. 
Indeed confidering God, as the God of grace, the moft part of 
all his operations refpe&ing the children of men, are entirely 
unaccountable to us, except upon this principle, his moft abfo- 

Jute and uncontrolable fovereignty. Why did God grant 

this exclufive privilege to the Jews above every other nation, to 
honor them with the depofitum of his oracles ? " He dealt not 
fo wirh any other nation; and as for his judgments, they knew 
them not." The reft or the world had no warnings from the 
Prophets, no dictates from Heaven but what they had from the 
light of nature, the view of the works of creation, and theadmi- 
niftration of Providence; and what remained among them of 
fome ancient traditions from Noah ; which in courfc of time 
were greatly effaced. Now* was there any reafon in them for 


Let. 9. ( 189 ) 

this indulgence ? Might not God have been as liberal to any 
other nation, yea to all other nations in the world, if it had been 
his fovereign will ? Any other people were as fit to be entrufted 
with the divine oracles. Had the blood of Abraham from whom 
they were immediately defcended, any more precious tincture 
than the blood of any other man ? They, as well as other nati- 
ons were made of one blood; and that corrupted both in the 
fountain, and in the dreams. Can any one fay, but that God 
might have left that favorite nation to grope after him by the dark 
glimmerings of Nature's light, and mown his ftatutes and his 

judgments exclufively to others ? Why did he not at the 

commencement of Chriftianity, give the fame grace to the Jews, 
as well as the Gentiles, to acknowledge and own the perion of 
the Meffiah, to whom he made the promife of him for fo many 
fucceffive ages ? Why has he left them for more than fixteen 
hundred years concluded in unbelief; their heart fat and -their 
ears heavy ? f Why did he not call the Gentiles without reject- 
ing the Jews; and bind them both up together in the fame bun- 
dle of life? Why he mould acquaint fome with it, a little after 
its publication in Judea; and others not until a long time after; 
fome in the firrt ages of chriftianity ; others have never to this 
day heard of Jefus and the refurre&ion ? What reafon can be 
affigned for thefe things, but " even fo Father, for fo it feemed 
good in thy fight ?" What merit can be difcovered in the Gen- 
tiles ? There is fomething of juftice in the Jews rejection; no- 
thing but fovereignty in the reception cf the Gentiles into the 
chriftian church. If the Jews were bad, the Gentiles were in 
fome fort worfe. The Jews ownei the true God without mix- 
ture of Idols; though they owned not the Mefliah in his appea- 
rance, which they did ir. a promife; but the Gentiles owned nei- 
ther the ont, nor the other. Some tell us it was for the merit of 
fome of their Anceftors. But how came the means of grace to 
be ta'ien from the Jews, who had, (if any people ever had) me- 
ritorious Anceftors for a plea ? But if the merit of fome of their 
Anceftors were the caufe ; what was the reafon the debt due to 
their merit, was not paid to their immediate progeny, or to thern- 
felves; but to a pofterity fo diftant from them; and fo abomina- 
bly depraved as the Gentile world was, at the time when the 
gofpel fun arofe in their horizon ? Or was it from the forefight 
that the Gentiles would embrace it, and the Jews reject it ? That 
the Gentiles would embrace it in one place, and not in another ? 
How did God forefee this, but in his own purpofe and grace, 
which he was refolved to diiplay in one, and not in another } , 
Or did he forefee this in their difpofttions and natures. What* 

t Ifai. yi. 10. 

Let. 9. ( 190 ) 

were they nor all one corrupt mafs ? Was any part of Adam btt • 
rer th m another ? How did God foreicc that which was not, nor 
poffibly could be, without an a& of his fovereign pleafure and 
will to give ability and grace to receive it? " He will have 
mercy on whom he will have mercy." 

Upon the whole Oncftmvs, I think we cannot account for the 
converfion of one of thefe malefactor?, and the malicious obftina- 
cy of the other, upon any other principle than the mere fovc- 
reign good pleafure of God : That infinitely wife Arbiter gives 
none account of his matters. And who, without fuffering for 
the daring enterprife, can call him to an account, or fay unto 
him what doft thou. Let us firmly adhere to this one princi- 
ple, that " the Judge of all the earth will do right," although to 
us " his ways are in the fea, and his paths in the mighty waters." 
" Juitice and judgment are the habitation or his throne." He 
is righteous and holy in the execution of his juitice, as well as in 
the adminiftration of his grace. Juft and holy in fuffering the 
impenitent Thief to die in his fins, as well as beftowing faving 
faith and an evangelical repentance on his fellow-fufferer. The 
Lord is juft in all his ways; righteous in all his works. What 
horrid impietv to arraign the great fovereign of all at our tribu- 
nal ! What, to affirm he would not be juft, if he did, or did not 
fnch and fuch things 1 Who art thou O man, that replied againft 
God: Shall the thing formed, fay to him that formed it, why 
haft thou made me thus ? Hath not the Potter power over the 
clay, to make of the fame lump, one veffel to honor, and another 
to di (honor. [| 

A°"ain Onefimus, from this inftance of the converfion of the 
Thief on the crofs, we may clearly fee the all-powerful efficacy, 
and propitiatory nature of Chrift's death for the expiation of fin. 
Upon this, and no other principle can we account for the falvati- 
on of this extraordinary man. — I think none will prefume to fay 
that he entered the celeftial Paradife upon the footing of his good 
works. Prior to this period he was a loofc and an abandoned (in- 
ner: And as I formerly obferved it is very likely that he hung a 
confiderable time upon the crofs, blafpheming the Son of God 
along with his fellow-fufFerer. This was a poor atonement For 

the errors of his bypaft life. Copying after that example of 

patience and refignation which was fo eminently exhibited by 
Jefus on the crofs, could not be the meritorious caufe of this man's 
falvation; what, I pray, is praifc- worthy in the refignation of a 
malefactor fuffering for a capital crime. But if this is fo necef- 
fary in mens falvation, how were fuch faved as never had the 
happinefs to have it exhibited to them; nor prefemed as the ob- 

II Rom. ix. 20, 2i. 

Let. 9. ( 191 ) 

ject of their imitation ? I hope they did not go to perdition, be- 
caufe they lived prior to the manifeftation of God in the flefh. 
The truth is Oncfimus, that the Saints who lived under the legal 
difpenfation, this man, who from the crol's reached the Throne, 
we, and all fucceeding generations to the end of time o'-tain fal- 
vation after one and the fame manner. 4 * Jcfus Chrift is the 
fame yefterday, to day and for ever." '■' He was the Lamb 
ilain, from the foundation of the world." The efficacy and 
virtue of his obedience and death, reached the firfr ages of the 
world ; it will defcend to the falvation of the latell pofterity, until 
ages and generations be no more: While the example he exhi- 
bited and the pattern he fhowed both living and dying, could 
not poffibly he the object of their imitation who lived prior to his 

appearance in human nature. It would appear then, that 

neither his good works, nor his imitation of ChriiVs example was 
the foundation, or meritorious caufe of his admiflion into Para- 

difc If it be faid, he was faved becaufe he repented : But why 

was;not Judas faved too, he repented ? Is not the Spirit of God 
far more explicit in informing us with regard to the repentance 
cf that unhappy man than that of the Thief ? We are not toid in 
exprefs terms that the latter repented, although we are certain be 
did : But we are told Judas repented, acknowledged he had done 
evil, in betraying innocent blood; and yet if we can give any 
credit to our Lord's words he was the Son of perdition. This then 
is evident,, that one iepenting {inner is faved, and another con- 
demned. There muft undoubtedly be fome very material diffe- 
rence between the repentance of the one, and of the other. — — 
The repentance of Judas was merely legal, arifing from a dread 
of God's wrath for his fin; and that without faith's views of 
ChriiVs blood, as fufficient to remove the guilt, and»pur^e from 
the filth of that heinous tranfgreifion. There are very few 
however abandoned they may live, when they come within 
views of Eternity, {in flaring them in the face, confeience awak- 
ened and upbraiding them for their bypaft wicked and diilblute 
lives, but will teilify a forrow for their part conduct; but this may 
proceed entirely from legal principles and felf-interefted metives ; 
a dread of falling into the hands of the living God. In the re- 
pentance of the Thief on the crofs, along with his forrow and 
compunction for {in; there was an immediate and direct appeal 
to the Saviour, as I {hall {how afterwards. In the repentance of 
this man, there was this necefTary, abfolutely neceiTary concomi- 
tant, a genuine faith which has for hs immediate object Cbriji, 
and bim crucified.. This was not in the repentance of the tra/itor, 
otherwife he had been faved, notwithstanding of what he had 
done. Faith in CrififVs. blood, will fave the verieft wretch; and 


Let. 9. ( 192 ) 

without it the moftfeemingly virtuous and moral man mall never 
tread the threlhold of glory. What I have juft now obferved 
On-fimus is corroborated, and proven bc\ond all controveify by 
an infallible Apoftle. " Be it known unto you, (fays Paul) 
that through this man, is preached unto you the forgivenefs of 

fins; and by him all that believe are juftified." || But here 

aejain the queftion recurs; was it the faith and repentance of the 
Thief the principal caufe of his falvation ? Or in other words, 
is it faith as an a<9: of the creature, or, the object, viz. Chrift, 
bv which we come to be juftified before God and finally faved ? 
The former 1 think it cannot be, without flatly contradicting a 
negative aiTertion of an infpired penman, by the works of the law 
ihall no flefh living be juftified. f The fame infpired Apoftle po- 
fitively proves in his cpiftle to the Romans, chap. iii. 24. by 
what this man, yea every man, is juftified and laved.— Being 
juftified freely by his grace, through the redemption that is in 
Chrift Jefus. A true and genuine faith, is the root and prin- 
ciple of all evangelical repentance; it is the inftrumental caufe 
of a miner's juftification, by which he yields his affent to this 
true and faithful faying, *? That Jefus Chrift came to fave the 
chief of finners." " Who loved me, and gave himfelf for me." 
So that as I elfewhere told you, we can have no idea of a faving 
repentance without faith; nor a faving faith, without taking 
into our confideration Cbriji and him crucified; dying, to put 
away (in by the facrifice of himfelf In a word, faith and re- 
pentance have no (hare in the purchafe of redemption : We are 
not redeemed, becaufe we repent and believe ; but becaufe Chrift 
died. Faith gives an actual faving intereft in his death ; and 
repentance flowing from faith, raifes a hatred and abhorrence to 
every fpecies of iniquity; and a love to the practice of univcrfal 
holinefs. Thefe graces then, as I elfewhere obferved are the 
conditio fine qua non, but by no means, the principal efficient caufe 
of our falvation. So that on the whole, this man went to Para- 
dife that day with the Saviour upon the footing of Jefus, giving 
his life a ranfom for fin; and paving the way to the hoi ie ft of all 

with his own blood. 

It is worth our notice to obferve the effects and fruits which, 
followed immediately on tfyis man's converfion. He reproves 
his fellow-fufferer; confefles his fin, apologizes for Chri ft; and 
makes an immediate appeal to him by prayer. He reproves his. 
fellow-fufTerer ; doeft thou not fear God. A ftrong negative, 
implying that the fear of God was not in his heart ; or elfe he ne- 
ver would perfift in foch blafphemous language; that he never 
would fay a confederacy with, them that had joined in a confe- 
II A£ts xiii. 37, 38. t Gal. ii. 16. 

Let. 9. ( 193 ) 

deracy ag-iinfl the Lord and his anointed. Where the fear of 
God is not the ruling principle in a man's heart, there is no (in 
fo vile bur he will commit; there is no courfe however wicked 
but he wiil run into. See, what a horrid catalogue of fins the 
Apoille enumerates in Rom. iii. v. II, — t8. and traces up this 
black lift to the wint of God's fear. " There is no fear of God 
before their eves." If men were afraid of God, would they, 
duril they fin with fuch a high hand as they do? Would any 
one in the immediate prefence of the King, blafpheme his Ma- 
jelly, and not be afraid of his wrath; and not incur his difplea- 
lure ? Certainly no. But alas ! many can in the immediate 
prefence of the Lord God Almighty provoke him to his face, 
blafphcme his name; pollute his iabbaths ; a£i the profligate in 
every refpecl without fear or dread. Nebemiab informs us, that 
he durft not do as the Governors before him did, becaufe of the 
fear of God. f What preserved Job from a multiplicity of (ins 
which others committed was this : For deftruction frcm God was 
a terror to me, and by reafon of his high nefs I could not en- 
dure. || Would the impenitent Thief, if the fear of God had 
been before his eyes, and considering his prefent (ituaticn, Suffering 
for his (in, and within a few moments of eternity, have reviled 

the Son of God becaufe he would not fave him ? ■ He reproves 

his fellow-fuffcrer for this reafon, that he was in the fame con- 
demnation. J It was not long when they mult launch into an 
invifible world, and be placed in an unalterable (late. There is no 
doubt but this reprehenfion proceeded from real affe&ion, and 
an unfeigned defire for the eternal welfare of this impenitent 
man. It is very obfcrvable, that all who have tafled that the 
Lord is gracious, wifh that all their fellow (inners obtained the 
fame difcoveries, and felt the fame pleafure in wildom's ways that 
they themfelves do. They are no monopolizers of religion: 
There is enough in Jefus for all (inners of every defcription, and 
character. " Andrew faid to Simon, we have found the Mefli- 
as." The news were too good to conceal; the gilt too rich to 
hoard up for themfelves. " Come fee a man which told me all 
things ever I did," is the language of a certain Samaritan woman, 
to whom Jefus had difplayed his glory and imparted his grace. 
It is the mod ardent wifti of every genuine chriftian, that their 
fellow creatures and fellow (inners were call in the fame mould, 
and aflimilated into the fame image with themfelves. 

t Nehem. v. 15, II Job xxxi. 19. 

X Luke xxiii. 40. 


Let. 9. ( 194 ) 

He confeffes his fin and its juft demerit. " We indeed juft- 
ly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds. " His language 
breathes nothing but that of a true convict ; he is deeply con- 
cerned for the evil of his ways; for thefe crimes which brought 
him to this ignominious exit. He confeffes his fin, takes fhamc 
to himfelf, and gives glory to God. Gracious perfons are far 
from making the fins of others a perpetual topic for exclamation ; 
they ftill include themfelves in all their confeflions, and if God 
was to contend againfl them, they would live and die in praife of 
his righteous judgments. None but a true penitent fees fin in 
its proper colours; none dread the divine difpleafure more, bc- 
caufe more acquainted with God than others. I will bear the 
indignation of the Lord, becaufe I have finned againft him, un- 
til he plead my caufe. f ■ Obferve again his apology for 
Chrift: " But this man hath done nothing amifs." When almoft 
every one prefent had fomething to caft in Jefus' teeth; when 
the Governors, the Soldiers, the Jews, the impenitent Thief were 
all combined to afperfe the character, and ruin the reputation of 
the Son of God, he had fomething to fpeak in his favour: He 
could not be filent. If any one had ftepped forward, and addref- 
fed the Thief thus; all that you fuffer, you fuffer juftly, all is 
too little confidering the nature of your crime; this he would 
readily affent to, yea, if they had accofted him thus, you deferve 
Hell for what you have done; to this he would have cordially 
affented. But he cannot hear a word fpoken againft the Son of 
God, but his heart burns within him; his indignation is roufed, 
and his zeal burfts out into a flame. None need ever imagine 
that they have obtained repentance unto life, and found conversi- 
on to God, who can with filence and compofure fee God disho- 
noured, and not be offended at the affront offered to his lacred 
Majefty. " Fools make a mock of fin." They not only tam- 
per with it themfelves, but take a pleafure in feeing and hearinj 
of others crimes. Mofes, with regard to what concerned him- 
felf, was the meekeft man on earth, but when the people fell in- 
to idolatry, out of indignation and zeal, he broke the calf in 
pieces, and damped it into a powder, and made the people drink 
of it; and for the fame offence, ordered every man. to hang his 
fword by his fide, and go forth and flay every man -his' brother* 
However filent we may be in our own quarrel, filence is dange- 
rous in the caufe of God. 

As;ain, obferve the prayer of this penitent Thief. 4i Lord re- 
member me when thou corned into thy kingdom." It would 
fcem evident from the prayer of the Thief on the crols, and 
Chrift's anfwer to it, that whether Chnft be a divine pcrfon or 


t Micah "vii. 9. 

Let. 9. ( 195 ) 

not, he is to be worfripped. But it is i mpofiible that our prayer 
can be heard, or anfwered when addreftc-d to an improper objc&. 
But this man's prayer was received and his fuit granted, ergo 
Chrift mud be a proper object of prayer; and if of prayer, or" 
every part of religious worfhip. Socini an s differ on this head ; 
fome are of opinion that Chrift is the object of re'igious worftiip, 
others are of a contrary perfualion. But is it not orange, that any 
one (houldd^ubt rhe propriety of this, when we read of two, (bc- 
fides other proofs from Scripture) en the vzt?£ of eternity, praying 
to Chrift'- " Lord Jefus, (fays Stephen) receive my Spirir." 
** Lord remember me, &c. fays the Thief." Acrain, it is as hard 
to conceive, if Chrift the Son of God, is not a divine perfon, how 
we can pay divine worihip and fervice to him : And ; f he is not to 
be worfn:poed with a divine worfhip, what is it then? D^th it 
confift in a fort of complimentary fervice and honor, fuch as we 
pay to our fuperiors, when we addrefs them with the t'tl? of my 
Lord, your Grace, &c If Arians and Soeinians fay he is to be 
worshipped with a divine worflilo, would not this fay, that he is a 
divine perfon, pofieffed of omnifcience, omniprefence, and a!l- 
fufiriciency ; theft and fuch like attributes and perfections a 
formal reafen of all the fervice and worfhip we paV to ] 
But ir after all their robbing him of his fuprcme Deity, they in- 
fc'} he is to be worfhipped with a divine worftiip ; how far in the 
fcale muft it rife ? How far mull their votaries in worshipping 
Chrift go, and no further ? They muft not <ro fo far as to wor- 
ship him as God fupreme; but how far muft they go ? 

This man, either previous to the prefent period, had had a 
fpeculative knowledge of what Chrift: was ; but through a ftrong 
propeniity to a licentious life, had ftifled h's con r cience, and (hut 
his eyes againft the light; or elfe, when en the crc: c . there had 
been an immediate revelation of Chrift, what he was, what he 
pofTeiTed, made to him. To which of thefe we muft refer the 
knowledge that this man had of Jefus. I will not determine. 
Probably it was cwing to the latter: The fame fpirit that con- 
vinced him of fin, might immediately reveal to him Chrift Jefus 
the Lord. Inftantaneoufly was Jefus revealed to the great Apof- 
tle of the Gentiles. 

This man was perfuaded that Chrift: had a kingdom, " Lord 
remember me when thou coir.eft to thy kingdom." What more 
could a Difciple have faid, who heard this docVine immediately 
from Chrift's own mouth. cc I give unto you a kingdom as my 
Father hath given unto me." Yes Onefirmv, he is Lord of the 
kingdom of nature, grace, and glory, although igncminioufly 
hanging on a crofs. What but the 'ftrcngeft fcuth cQt&l have 
fcen glory through fuch bafeaefs and ignominy. 

O % 


Let. 9. A ( 196 ) 

He is not only perfuaded that he has a kingdom, but a king- 
dom to impart. What a comfortable reflection to that poor dy- 
ing man. Chrift has a kingdom, a crown, a fceptre, a throne 
to difpole of. Nothing can equal a genuine believer for bold- 
nefs; he afpires at no lefs than the kingdom of glory. Faith has 
a broad foundation to build its expectations on, ChrifVs promife, 
and ChrifVs pUrchafe. The crofs purchafed a crown, ignomi- 
ny and contempt, glory, the mod excruciating pains, eternal 
health. This man is further perfuaded, that this kingdom will 
not be difpofed of, and poiTefTed by holy Angels, and holy Apof- 
ties only, but by all for whom it is prepared, purchafed and be- 
queathed ; however vile in their natures, and odious in their cha- 
racters.— Faith in ChrifVs blood, will give an actual right 

to that kingdom in reverfion for all believers- He knew that 
" Chrifr. came not to call the righteous, but finners to repen- 
tance:" Sinners of every defcription ; poor penitent Thieves, 
yea the very chief of finners. " God is no refpe&er of perfons." 
" Lord remember me when thou corned into thy kingdom." 
Thefalvation of his foul was his principal chief concern ; a ge- 
nuine character of a true penitent. Although walking in the 
midft of trcuble, environed with the moll tormenting pains, to 
be either wholly refcued from thefe, or have them afluaged, was 
his lead concern ; but his mod ardent and earned defire lay here, 
to be remembered by Chrift when he came to his kingdom. The 
contrary was the cafe with his fellow-fufferer; all his care was 
about the falvation of his body, to have it eated of its pains and 
be delivered from his prefent mifery : And becaufe Chrifl. would 
not do this, he rails on him. 

Obferve Oneftmus^ ChrifVs anfwer to this man's prayer. To 
day fhaltt hou be with me in paradife. + The Paradife here men- 
tioned, is the third, or Empyrean Heavens, where the foul of our 
Lord Jcius went after its feparacion from the body. Heaven and 
Paradife are fynonymous terms with the Apoflle Paul. 2 Cor. 
xii. 2, 3. I knew a man, &c. caught up to the third Hea- 
vens; how he was caught up into Paradife. % Heaven in 

Scripture is called Paradife, becaufe it is a place of univcrfal de- 
lights, and that in the mod eminent manner and degree. " Be- 
fore God's face, at his right hand are pleafures evermore. " What 

a wou- 
t Luke xxiii. 43. 

t Hence we may learn, that the foul furvives the body, and exifts 

■fter the diflblution oF the union ; alfo that the fouls of the righteous 

• go immediately to Heaven, and not to any middle place ; and that they 

.remain in a date 6f activity, and not like the fleeping birds in a date of 

*- torpitude and inactivity as fome imagine. 

Let. 9. ( rp7 ) 

a wonderful change in the affairs of this man. Juft now hang- 
ing on the crofs, executed for theft; in an inftant death fets his 
foul at liberty, and Chrift receives him into Paradife. Here 
Chrift promifes him his company in glory. ** This day fha't 
thou be with me," " Where Chrift is, there will all his fer- 
vants be." "I will that thofe whom thou haft given me be 
with me." After all was accomplifhed by our Lord Jefus Chrift 
the Mediator but a certain prediction recorded in Pfal. xcviii. 
11. In order therefore to its fulfilment, he intimates to his mur- 
derers that he thirfted. -j- As man he was obnoxious to the na- 
tural infirmities and weakneffes of human nature, although en- 
tirely finlefs ; and in this cafe there was no wonder that he thirft- 
ed. He was prior to this, a whole day and night without tak- 
ing any refrefliment; that is, from the time he eat the paffover 
with his Difciples until now. Confidering alfo, that all this in- 
tervening fp3ce he was ftiil in action. A confiderable time in 
the garden in an agony, fweating great drops of blood; from the 
garden he was hurried to Annas, from Annas to Caiaphas, and 
early in the morning from Caiaphas to Pilate; from Pilate to 
Herod, and from Herod back again to Pilate, and then to the 
crofs. Add to all this, he had loft much blood ; feme in the gar- 
den, fome in Pilate's hall, and on the cr^fs. But the principal 
reafon of his crying out, M I thirft," was to fulfil a Scripture, 
and the very laft in the Old Teftament refpe£ting his death. It 
is very obfervable, that a great many of the moft remarkable in- 
cidents refpecYing Chrift's life anci death, are taken notice of as 
a fulfilment of the Scripture. He was born cf a virgin at Beth- 
lehem ; dwelt at Nazareth and Capernaum, that the Scripture 
might be fulfilled.— Wha-loever cur Lord Jefus as Mediator 
was to do, or fuffer, came not by accident, nor according to the 
will of man, but was fore-feen and predetermined by God, and 
accordingly recorded in Scripture. 

It was cuftomary to have vir^ecrar at the place of execution, 
either to h&fteii the efiufion of blood, bv applying it to the wounds 
of the dying perfon, and thus to accelerate his diiTolution ; or 
rather accbrdVhj* to fome, to prolong his pain and preferve hir.i 
f-om fainting. The Evan<elift Mark informs us, J that they 
offered him wine mixed with myrrh before he was nailed to the 
crofs; according to a cuftom that prevailed among the Tews, to 
ftupify the fenles vf the malefactor. The other in which was 
the vinegar^ was offered by the foldiers after he was nailed to the 
crofs in mock and redicule. See an amazing over-ruling provi- 
dence ! directing thofe foldiers to accomplifh their own malevo- 
lent intentions; to carry on their cruel ludicrous farce in offer- 
t John xix. 28, 29. + X Mark xv. 29. 

Let. 9. ( 19* ) 

ing him vinegar in his third. The Ged of Heaven has another 
end in view, to accomplifh a prediction which took place many 
a^es prior to this. God in his fovereign providence, can make 
the wickedntfs of the wicked an r wer the purpofes of his glorv, 
and bring about events, in which the agent has not the remoted 
view. Here the foldicrs accomplifhed their purpofe, and God 
accomplished his. The fame onfervation will hold true in 
innumerable indances: The death of Chrid particularlv veri- 
fies this. Having tailed the cup offered by the inhuman Gsldie- 
ry upon an HyfTop-r?cd, he begins his fong of triumph. When 
Mofes led the Ifraelitifh hod through the red fca, they -in the very 
fpot where they pitched their tents, fung a fong of praife to him, 
who opened a way through the liquid element for the ran'omed of 
the Lord to pafs over. Deborah and Barak followed the fame 
example when the Lord gave them a fignal victory over Sifera. 
In Rev. xv. 2, 3. we are told, that thofe who had gotten the 
vi£fcory over the bead, and over his image, and over his mark,/ 
and over the number of his name ; flood on a fea of glafs, having 
the harps of God, tinging the fong of Mofes, the fervant of God, 
and the fong of the Lamb. In like manner, the Captain of our 
falvation having glonoufly triumphed, by a complete conqueft 
over all the fpiritual foes of his people, fin, death, bell, and the 
Devil; fung this fong of triumph to the joy of finners, and the 

eternal confufion of their enemies. // is finijhed. Now the 

captain of our falvation fhout?, that man's falvation is accomplifh- 
cd, and completely as to its impetrat^ion perfected: As if he had 
faid, I lay nine months in the Virgin's womb; was born in a 
ftabre, and laid in a manger; faded forty days, prayed on the 
mount, fweat in the garden; have hung three hours on the crofs 
in agony and torment ; but now all \sfinifhed. Now fin is abo- 
lifhed, death dedroyed, Hell conquered, the Devil fubdued, the 
gates of Heaven opened, God's wrath turned away; now the 
law is magnified and made honorable, judicc fatisfied, and the 
intereds of liolinefs fecured. What I have juft now obferved 
Oneftmus, you will find confirmed in the facred Oracles. || This 
was I think the principal thing our Lord had his eye upon, in 
this triumphant exclamation, the flnidiing our redemption by 
the pouring out his foul unto the death, f Permit me my dear . 

II Luke xix. 10. Math. xx. 28. Heb. ix. 12. 

t The finifhing of the work of Creation, and the winding up of the 
wheels of time, are expreffed by a fimilar phrafe. X But what comfort 
could we derive from this confidcration, that the Almighty Architect had 
flretched out the Heavens for our Canopy, the Earth to tr°ad on ; had 

X Rev. x. 7. 

Let. 9. .( 199 ) 

friend, to infift a lktie more particularly on this head, and en- 
quire into' "the fuH import of this emphatic and comprehenuve 

phrafe.- It isfinifbeJ. The whole work the Mediator came 

to accompiifh is' now gforioufly terminated. All the counfels, 
purpofes and decrees of the Father, respecting man's falvation he 
had declared and unfolded; he kept nothing back. He unfold- 
ed God's gracious intention in fending him into the world, which 
was, " not to condemn the world, but that the world through 
him might be faved." Thofe doctrines refpe<5ting the pure na- 
ture of God, and the finful nature of man, he clearly expound- 
ed; the neceflity of his death as a propitiation for fin., and of 
faith to give an actual intereft in his merit and atonement. No- 
thing, either refpecting faith or pra6tice he kept back. Whate- 
ver belonged to his prophetic office was now concluded and per- 
fected. And with regard to his prieftly office, all his intercelTo- 
ry prayers for his people here on earth, were at an end. How 
often was the Son of God engaged whole nights in the moun- 
tains praying. He taught through the day, he frequently pray- 
ed through the night. " It was his meat and his drink to do 
the will of his heavenly Father, and to finifh the work he gave 
him to do." Three and thirty years he fpent in the mod con- 
stant labour, in the moft unremitting diligence. His obedience 
to the law in his life, conftitutes a part of that robe of righteouf- 
nefs, and garment of falvation, wherewith all believers are ar- 
rayed; and upon the account of which they ftand juftifled be- 
fore God. (< For as by one man's difobedience, many were 
made miners; fo by the obedience of one many fhall be made 
figrrte*6us."«j Such is the fublirne perfe^ion, and vaft extent of 
the divine law, that the judification of a (inner on the account of 
any obedience he can give, isabfolutely impofnble. How lhomd 


created fea and land to feed us; the fun, moon and ftars to give us 
light : Thefe in their kind and nature areen.nent favours: But the ca- 
pital rare biding Heaven reserved, to be procured and meritorioufly 
purthafed on the Ctofs. Faiih'^ view of man'* falvation being complet- 
ed on the accttrfed tree, give< a zeft and relifh to all the temporal mer- 

. ti joy at the hand of God, a? the God of nature and providence. 

work o-f :.. ption had not been finifhed on thecrofs, what 

the fimftiing of the myirery of God afford. 
Rut ti, • ', the genuine ChritVan looks forward to that 

awful cirea vs-'-rh corapofure and delight: Yet with a certain 

triumph. Yes when the myftery of God is finiihed, all his troubles, 
trials and icrrows nre at an end j this is the day in which he will be 
put in the full pcffjilion of that kingdom prepared by God, from the 
foundation of the world, and purchafed in time by his dear Son. 

t Rom. v. 19, 

Let- 9 ( 200 ) 

tinners exult, when they can contemplate on, and with fafcty 
truft in, the vicarious righteoufnefs of the condescending and 
adorable furcty. The obedience which our Lord gave to the 
law, did fully quadrate with all, and every precept and demand 
of it. It flowed from the mod ardent love to God, and the moft 
unfeigned. affection to man. God who is the unerring judge of 
all excellency, bore teftimony to the divine Redeemer. He ipoke 
it once, yea twice, with an audible voice from the excellent 
glory; in him lam well pleafed. Yea, thoughtlefs inconside- 
rate mortals, gave their fuffragc to this teftimony ; they Ipoke 
what they fcarcely underftood, when they cried out, be bath o'one 
all things well. ■ ■ It hecometh us to fulfil all righteoufnefs." He 
fulfilled every jot and title of the divine law ; nay he more than 
fulfilled it ; he magnified it, he gave it good meafure, prefied 
down, fhaken together, and running over. || He defied the moft 
vigilant of his enemies to convince him of fin. A mere malig- 
nant, and a far more fagacious adverfary than the Scribes and 
Pharifees could detect no blemifh in him. The prince of this 
world, that infernal tyrant, who had deceived and enflaved the 
nations of the earth, came and found nothing in him; not the 
lead corruption in his nature, nor the lead defeat in his obedi- 
ence.—*' // isfinijhed." That life of obedience to the law 
which he lived for us, is now come to a happy period. For if by one 
man's offence, death reigned by one; much more they which 
receive abundance of grace, and of the gift of righteoufnefs, fhall 
reign in life by one, Jefus Chrift. f If one offence committed bv 
one mere man, made all his pofterity chargeable with guilt, and 
liable to death; how much more (hall the manifold inftances of 
our divine Redeemer's obedience ; his moft confummate righte- 
oufnefs ; how much more (hall they ablolve all his people from 
condemnation and punifhment, and entitle them to the honours 
and joys of a bleffed immortality. 

// is finijbed. His days of fufferinc:, as well as his life of obe- 
dience, were now terminated: Crmfcquently, falvation from 
fin and wrath perfectly finifhed. For this end, was he fent into 
the world ; he lived, he died, to purchafe an eternal redemfticn 
for us. Upon this was his gracious heart fet : For this he prtfled 
forward, he longed, he was ftraitned until it was accomplifhcd. 
O what labour and pains it coft the Son of God to redeem men ! 
God created the world in fix days; three and thirty years were 
fpent in grief and forrow, in pain and toil, in redeeming it. 
God had no more to do, than by an a<5t of his powerful will to 
produce a world out of nothing; but to reftore a loft world to 
the favour and kind embraces of an offended, a juftly offended 

H Luke vi. 38. t Rora. v. 17. 

Let. g. (201 ) 

Deity, the Son of God mull fuffer, Meed, and die. " It ! e* 

boved the Son of man to fuller.'' // is Ji'iijled, all 

fes and pred ct'jrs refpe&ng the future appearance, life, 
fuiFcnng* of trfa Meflhh were at thfs juncture fully sccompl ih- 

ed. It is finifixd. Now is the pe^od* in which the " h. 

g.d (economy mult be fulpended, and for ever honourably UmJ 
afide. The law of carnai commandments contained in ordLnan- 
ccs died with Chrift. That difpenfation whrcJ wjt a figure 

of good things to come, yields to a better, and 
and permanent oeconomy. The 'acrihee which the high '■ 
of our profeflion offered up, has for ever fuperfeded the L 
cal. His appearance in the charterer of our hi-h Prieftj ' 
ever funk the Aaron i cal priefthood. No more is the blood of 
innocent viclims to be poured out at Grd's altar. No more is 
the jewifti high Pried to appear in the inngnia o^ his prieftly of- 
fice : All are rciigned up, and laid down at the foot of the crofs. 
No more is the knowledge of the true God to he confined within 
the narrow limits of the jewifh Empire ; but from the rifing fun 
to where it r ets, the news of falvation through Jefus ChrilT, and 
him crucified, are to be propagared. What a fudden change in 
the affairs of Zi «n ! prior to this period, fhe fat almoll folitary 
and alone : Between Dan and Beerfheba were her children con- 
fined. Now fhe has in profpeQ: a numerous offspring, numerous 
as the pearly drops of dew upon the tender herbage ; begotten by 
the Gofpel of Jefus, among the outcaft Gentile nation?— 7 is 
fnijlttl. The conflict which the Redeemer had with man's grand 
adversary the Devil, is now come to a glorious ilTue. It had 
been foretold near four thoufand vears prior to this, that the leed 
of the woman fhould have his hee! bruited by the ferpent ; and 
that in return he fhould bniite his head: Now both are accom- 
plished. The Redeemer of Tinners is within a few moments 
of commending his fou! into the hands of his heavenly Father by 
the painful, ihameful, and cut fed death of the crofs. Now he 
has gloriouflv triumphed over principalities and powers: led them 
captive, made a fhow of them openly, triumphing over them in 

his crok. Mull he not (think you Onefimui] have been more 

than a creature, before he could accompli fh thefe great ends by 
his death ? Ye* certainly: He was " God manirefted in the 
flefh."-j- The doctrine of Chrift's vicarious obedience and death 
very efl'ence of chnfriamty ; the giory of the Gofpelj the 
foundation, and the only foundation upon which the falvation o{ 

men depends, and is lecured. Immediate y upon uttering the 

aheve exclamation, Chrift bowed the head and gave tip the 


t Let Arian pride before him bow, — 
He's Jcfu^and Jehovah too. 

Let. 9. ( 202 ) 

Ghoft.T* The vail of the temple was rent in twain from top- to 

bottom; the Earth did quake, and the rocks were rent ; the 
graves were opened, and many bodies of the Siruts which (kpt 
arofe. |[ What Orange events were thefe, which happened on. 
the death of the Lord of glory ! Chrift on thecrofs a dead corpie ; 
and yet the power of his death reaches the temple,, rends in twain 
the va'il? makes the Earth; breaks- in pieces the flinty rock; 
pierces into the dark caverns of death. Death quickens the dead. 
Many great Princes there have been, who have caufed their ter- 
ror to fpread far and wide while they lived ; yet when they came 
to die, nothing more- extraordinary attended their diflblution,.. 
than trhat of the meaneft peafant. Never did the Earth tremble ,. 
never did the rocks r«nd, or the graves open at the death of any » 
but the divine Redeemer.— The vail of the temple war rent, -j- 
Was not this afymbol to us, that an entrance was procured for us 
into the immediate prefence of God, by Chrift's propitiatory fa- 
crifice ?' This was the key which opened the gates of glory which 
our fins had fhut : By this we arc alfo taught the abrogation of 
the ceremonial law; the hand writing of ordinances that was 
againitus, is now cancelled. J He is our peace, (fays the Apoftle) 
who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall 
©f partition between us; having aboliihed in his flefh, the en- 
mity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances* 


U The opening of fome of the Saints graves is taken notice of by the 
tvangelift Matthew, chap, xxvii. 52. as among the incidents which 
happened at Chrift's death : And yet we are told v. 53. that they came 
out of their graves after his refurredtion. Perhaps the meaning may be 
tihis, that although their graves opened at his death, the dead did not arife 
until his refurrettion. 

t The temple was divided into two parts. In the firft, was the Ta- 
ble, the fhew-bread, and the candlefticks; rhit wa? called the holy 
place. In the other, was the golden Cenftr, the Ark of the Teftamens 
overlaid with gold round about; wherein was the golden pot which had 
Manna, Aaron's rod which budded, and the T;:bles of the Law. There 
were alfo the Cherubim* placed at e^ch end of the Ark, and ovcrfha- 
dowing the Mercy-fear. Thefe two places were foparated by a vail ;. 
which vail was rent in twain from top to bottom at the death of Chrift. 

t The Schoolmen fay that there was a time when the ceremonial law 
was profitable, viz. before Chrift ; becaufe, its obfervance was.ftriftly 
enjoined. After Chriit's death that law became dead, but not deadly 
until the gofpel was planted, and then it became deadly; and therefore 
dangerous to introduce any of its ceremonies under the difpenfation of 
the gofpel. 

Let. 9. ( 203 ) 

for to make in himfelf of twain one new man, lb making peace, f 
This eircumftance attending the death of Chrift: might perhaps 
allude to the rending of that vail between God and finni_rs, viz. 
ftn. Nothing ever could have feparated between God and his 
creatures but this ac curled thin?; and while it remained, God's 
face within the vail, we never could have feen; neither could 
we have participated of thofe rivers of pleafures which flow in, 
and water the inhabitants of the new Jerufalem. Your iniqui- 
ties have feparated between you and your God, and your fins 
have hd his face from you, that he will not hear. -j- ftow in- 
{lead of the vail of our fins, through which the eyes of infinite 
purity could net behold the (inner but with defeftation and ab- 
horrence, there is another vail through which God looks on men 
with delight and complacency, the vail of ChriiVs flefh. £ 
Through this vail, an infinitely holy God fees no iniquity in 
Jacob, nor perverfenefs in Ifrael, fo as to enter into judgment 
with Jacob and Ifrael. 

Perhaps, there was fomething more typified by the rending 
of the vail of the temple, viz. the rending of that vail of igno- 
rance which covered the minds of the Jews under the legal ceco- 
nomy ; this is done away by the preaching of the gofpel under a 
clearer difpenfation of grace. Another circumftance attend- 
ing Chrift's death, was the rending of the rocks. Perhaps to 
point out the obdurate hardnefs and ftupidity which feized the 
Jews at this period. And was it not ftrange, all things confi- 
dered, that there was a whole heart among all that vaft concourfe 
of fpe&ators that attended on this occafion ? But why need we 
wonder at their obduracy and hardnefs of heart ? Will not the 
fame be found with multitudes in every period } Many will 
weep for the death of a friend, that never (lied a tear for (in, the 
procuring caufe of ChrifPs death. Perhaps, this was intended 
*to convince us of this great truth, that unlefs a believing view 
of the death of Chrift rend oui hearts, nothing ever will. The 
law of the ten commandments was written on tables of (lone, 
becaufe it was never defigned by God to melt the heart of (tone; 
its threatnings may make the heart tremble, but never fbften it 
into a gofpel repentance. This is refered to Chrift's death, by 
whole powerful energy the ftonesdid cleave afunder. 

Obfervc again, another circumftance attending the death of 
Chrift ; the graves opened, and many bodies of the Saints which 
ftept arbfe. Some think that it Was a current opinion among 
the Jews, that when their Mefliah came, there mould be a refur- 
re&ion a; fome pious men. It was itrange then, if this was true, 
that when they few mimbers who had been long in theduft ap- 
§ Eph. ii. 14, 15. f Ifai. lix. 2. X Heb. x. 20. 

Let. 9. ( 204 ) 

pearaPMin in the holy city; that they were r,ot immediately 
convinced, that he whom they crucified was indeed the promil- 
ed Mefliah. It is not eafy to conjecture, neither is it very ma- 
terial for us to know who were the perfons raifed on this occafion. 
Some think they were the holy Prophets, who lived and died in 
the faith of his future appearance; and fome imagine that they were 
fomeof thofe who believed in jefus, as old Simeon ; a,nd died be- 
fore his refurrecYion. It would appear however, that they were 
not long dead ; at leaft, that there were fome alive who had been 
acquainted with them before their death. If it had been other- 
wife, they would have rather palled for Grangers in the holy city, 
than for perfons raifed out of their graves. Some think that 
our Lord's fpeech in John v. 25. has a particular reference to 
this : This notion fcems not to be well founded. 

The raifmg of fome of the Saints at our Lord's refurreclion 
was no doubt to teach us among other things, this awful intercit- 
ing lefTon; that there is a day coming, when all that are in their 
graves fhall rife again by the powerful energetic voice of the fame 
Jefus, who hung on the crofs, coming in the clouds cf Heaven 
with power and great glory. Yes Onefmus, " the earth fhall 
difclofe her dead and no more cover her flain." The grave can- 
not keep its prey, death cannot retain its prifoners.— — That my 
dear friend may be raifed by virtue of his union with Jefus; and 
in that great and dreadful day,, meet the great Judge as his Advo- 
cate, and be placed on his right hand, and received up into the 
naanfions of endlefs blifs, and uninterrupted felicity ; is the ar- 
dent wifti, and moft fmccre prayer of his 




Dear Onefimm 

I received your?, which brings me the agreeable news of the 
recovery of our dear friend Marcus. " Afflictions fpring not 
out of the duft, nor trouble out of the dunghill." If our heaven- 
ly Father chaftife his children, it is that they may be made parta- 
kers of his holinefs. This is Heaven's grand end and defign in 

Let. 10. ( 205 ) 

all the variegated conditions of believers in this life, to make 
them more and more conformable to the holy one of Ifrael. This 
i> the ultimate wiih of all Saints, to be thu^ conformed to the image 
of their heavenly Father. God's defign, and their wiiri exa&ly 
quadra'e. Obferve the effect that an afHi&ed (late had on the 
royal Pialmift: 13efore I was afflicted I went ailray, but now 1 
keep thv word, f Welcome chaftifements whofe fruit has this 
tendency, to make us hate fin, and love Chrift and holinefs the 
more.- ■ You hint in yours, that an argument for ChriftVs vi- 
carious fufferings, and the propitiatory nature of his death, may 
be learned from the jewifh ritual* particularly that part of itre- 
fpe&imr the rite of facrifking. I think your observation is en- 
tirely juft. As 1 formerly obferved, it wou!d he very difficult to 
affiirn a reafon worthy the divine Being to have impofed fuch a 
variety of Sacrifices on that people, without viewing them astypes 
and fhadows of a better facrifice, which was actually to put away 
(in, and finim t ran fere flion which thofe could only do typically. 
It would be very difficult to make any fenfe of the Apoftle's rea- 
Foning on this head in his epiftle to the Hebrews otherwife.— - 
Permit mc then, to take a curfory view of the jewilh ritual on 
this head. The Levitical Sacrifices may be reduced to thefe four 
kinds: ij Burnt-offerings, peace-offerings, Sacrifices for fm, and 
rrefpafs -offerings. Some think that burnt-offerings were pre- 
fented to G*>d, as the Creator and preferver of all things, and fo, 
eminently worthy of cur worfhip and veneration t Peace-offer- 
ings refpeSedGod as the liberal beneficent giver of all the! e good 
things which regard this prefent life; and thefe as already obtain- 
ed, and fo they were called Euchariftical Sacrifices; or only afked 
and expected by the interposition of a vow, and then they were 
Called votive facrifices; or without a vow, and then they came 
under the denomination of voluntary facrifices, hecaufe they pro- 
ceeded from the mere good will and plcafure of the offerer: The 
fin and trefpifs-offe rings had a refpect to God, offended bv the 
fin and trefpafs of the offerer. +— Others divide the jew in fa- 

t Pfil. cxix. 63. II Outram de facriticiis. 

X In the above divifion of the Jewifti facrifices, particularly in the 
reafon aligned for their being offered ; the holoeault. or burnr-oif 
aad the peace-offering are excluded from being propitiarory Ocrincei, 
That the burnt-offering was of a propitiatory nature, 1 think is evident 
from Levit. i. 4. And he ihall put his hand upon the head o\ the 
burnt-offering, and it fhall be accepted for hi:n, to make Atcnumem 
him. We are further told, o>. 9. That it JnoulJ be a fweet i. 
unto the Lord, or a favour of reft ; a facrifice by wnich God would hs 

Let. 10. ( 206 ) 

cri flees into the burnt-offering; Lcvit. i. The meat-offering ; 
chap. ii. The peace-offering; chap. iii. The fin-offering* chap. 
iv. The trefpafs-offi ring; chap. v. The humt-rfjrVing was To 
called, hecaufe it was to be wholly burned and confumed upon 
the altar by fire, except the fkin. The Hebrew term gnola, 
comes from the root grtalu, which fignifies to afcend, becaufe 
being wholly burned and confumed, it afcended up to Heaven in 

ftnokc and vapour The particular occafions upon which they 

offered the burnt-offering, were fuch as were providential ; when 
upon emergent occafions they had guilt, or judgments to be re- 
moved ; or mercies to be beftowed, or acknowledged. Lcvit. 
xxii. 18. Again upon fome incidental occafions, asatthecon- 
fecration of the Priefls; Exod. xxix. 18. and of the Levites ; 
Num. viii. 12. at the purification of unclean perfons ; and up- 
on various other occafions. Laftly at their ftated feftivals, and 
appointed feafons; which were both daily, weekly, monthly, 
and annually. There wa6 a continual burnt-offering every day, 
the one in the morning, the other in the evening. Exod. xxix. 
3&, 42. Num. xxviii. 3, 4. This was called the jvge focrifi- 
cium, of which Daniel predicts, that it fhould be profanely in- 
terrupted by Antiochus. Daniel viii. it, 12. The end for 
which the burnt-offering was prefented to God was, as I already- 
hinted to make an atonement for fin. Levit. i. 4, — 9 

Obferve now Omfimus, the various myftical, and fignificant 
rites and ceremonies enjoined en the Jews, to be obferved about 
the burnt-offering. The offerer was to bring it to the door of 
the tabernacle of the congregation, before the face of the Lord. 
Lev. i. 3. Great ftrefs was laid upon this, as appears from 
Lev. xvii.— 1,-^-9. The high Prieff durft not goto fetch it, 
or follicit the offerer to bring it ; but it was to proceed of his own 
voluntary motion. From whence did that amazing and humili- 
ating ftep that the Son of God made in his incarnation flow ? 
Might it not be traced up to, and ultimately refolved in his own 
free grace and voluntary condefcenfion. " Lo I come." " I 
lay down my life of myfelf." As he had no copartner in, he 
had no follicitor to the work of man's redemption. He waited 
not for our imrcaty. " Pie came leaping on the mountains, 
and (kipping on the hiils, unafked and unlooked for." ■ .. ■ The 


apptajtd. We find the Apoftle in writing to the Epheiians, (chap. v. 2) 
fpeaks of the facrifke Chriit ottered ahnoft in the -very forne terms here 
tafed with regard to the end for which the burntsoffering was prefented 
to the Lord. ki (Thrift gave himfelf for us, an offering and a lacrificeto 
God of a fweet fmclling favour." The notion therefore, that t^ie)wrnt- 
offering wai only offered to God as the Creator and preferver of aH 

Let. 10. ( 207 ) 

offerer was to lay his hands on the head of the offering. Lev. 
i. 4. t And he {hall put his hand upon the head of the burnt - 
ofFerin^, and it fhall be accepted for him, to make atonement for 
him. It is difputed here, whether he was to lay his right, or left 
hand, or both? But feeing here it is exprefled in the fmgular 
number, and in Levit. xvi. 21. it i? exprefsly enjoined on Aaron 
to lay on both his hands; this impofition of both h ; s hands on 
the head of the facrifke, probably intended the translation of h s 
own, along with the guilt ofthe con°regation; and that when an 
individual brought his offering to the door of the tabernacle of the 
congregation to be facrifked before the face of the Lord, he laid but 
on one of his hands. It isalfoquefricned, whether he that brought 
the offering;, or the Prieft, laid his hand on the rSurnt -offering? 
But this I think is eafily refolved; certainly it was the perfon that 
killed the offering, that impofedhis hands on its head; Lev. i. 5, 
6. but that was only the function and office of the Prieft. 

What did this rite of impofing the hands of the Prieft on 
the head of the facrihee adumbrate? To teftify the dedication, 
and confecration of the animal to God; but chiefly I think, to 
point out the translation of the offerer's guilt upon the head of 
the victim. Or, it this was not the cafe; why tn many inftan- 
ce=>, was there fuch a ioleicn confeffion or fin, tranfgreffion, and 
iniquity that attended the impofition of hands? From this cuf- 
tom atfo flows the propriety of this phrafe when app ; ied to the 

tioij to hear fin. This is particularly laid of the Scapr-gcat. 
ere were our fins translated, and upon whom conferred ? But 
upon the Lamb of God, which only could ;iccomp!ifh that real- 
/>•, which the Levitical facrinces could only do tyfjcjl/y. " The 
Lord laid on him the iniquities of us all." ** He was made 'fin 
tor ut. :7 Sift was imputed ro him ; and for its deaxrit he vufflr- 
ed the wrath of a juftly incenfed Deity. The faenfice muff be 
killed. " Without fhedding of blood there is no remifiaon, 
eiiher typical, or real. The Mcfliah mufi be cut oft" 4l And 
his foul made an offering for fin."— —The (atrihee muff l>e kil- 
led on the n'-rth-fide of the altar The fame ceremony was to 
be or/erved concerning the fin-offering; Lev. vi. 25 and the 
trefpafs offering ; Lev. vii. \, s>.|| The blood of the hurnr-o?- 

f It is to be obferved fieri that this ceremony was not Taqui»- 
edin the facririce of fowls, but only of heath. Exod. xxix. 10. 

fl It is very probable, that there is no mvfterv combined here; Itt 
that rhe tabernacle-door, and the altar were fo fituated, that an the no: th- 
fiderhere was more fpace to kill and drefs the facrifice. Some think: 
tfcis was rrrjomed on the Jews in oppofirion toxhe idolatrous pracTce of 
the Heathens, who facrificed and directed therr worfhrp -towards the 
eaft, and towards the fun. In oppofition to this, they killed rhe' facri- 
fice on the north-fide, and poured forth the aihes towards the ealt-fide. 

Let. 10. ( 20 S ) 

: mull be poured out at the bottom of the altar. Lev. viii. 
15. and ipiinklcd round aJjout upon it. Lcvit. i. 5. Ohfcrye 
the language of the infpiied Apr it!e o: tlic Gentler in wiitin« 
to the Hebrews, chap. ix. 22. And aimofl all things wtre 

(1 by Mood: And without fhedding of blood there is no 
remiffion. That the a!tar fan 5ti fits the gift, is the exprefs de- 
claration (f our Lord Jefus himfelf; Math, xxiii. 19. It was, 
becaufe o<ir Mediator wns the fupreme God, '■« God ov.r *Uj* 
thai his lulfcrings had fuchan infinite value and efficacy in them, 
31 to be furficicnt for the purgation of our fins. The pouring 
(o!ih, and fprinkling the blood of the burnt offering upon the al- 
tar, adumbrated that near and intimate union and conjunction 
of the human Mature to the divine; and the particular influence 
or that union in all the fuffcrinfts of the human nature for the 
paidon of fin, and the acceptation of our perfons and fervices: 
Upon this account it is called the blood of God. Acts xx. 28. and 
therefore infinitely meritorious, being fan&ified by the altar of 
the divine nature upon which it was offered : And hence it be- 
comes adequate to make an atonement for an infinite ofFencc. 
Peace-offerings as well as burnt-offerings, were particularly en- 
joined by God on the Jews. The peace-offering was fo deno- 
minated, becaufe it denoted peace amongfl all the parties; God, 
the Pricfl, and the offerer. And as an evidence and fymhol of 
this all were partakers in the peace-offering. Hence fome de- 
rive the term from a word which fignifies to diflribute, becaufe 
each of the parties had a fhare in thefe peace-offerings; Gcd, 
rlrci Pried, and the people. Thefe fort of facrifices were of a 
mixed nature, partly hylaftical, and partly euchariflical ; i. e. 
they were defigncd both for atonement and thankfgiving. Some 
indeed are of the opinion, that they were entirely of the latter 
kind. But I find thefe as well as the reft were offered up upon 
the brazen altar; and from thefe as well as the burnt-offerings 
God is faid to fmell a fwect fmeHing favour. Levit. iii. 5. 
The ceremonial, rites iifed'on this occafion, feenis to point at its 
propitiatory nature. It was (lain, and burned upon the altar, 
ltd blood poured forth, and fprinkled upon the altar round about. 
Was not all this.typical of our Lord Jefus Chriit, who is indeed 
cur true peace-offering ? He hath made peace by the blood of his 
crofs, Col. ii. 20. But yet I imagine Oneftmus, that the parti- 
cular and fpecial ends of the peace-offering was to return their 
gratitude, and exprefs their thankfulnefs for the peace and prof- 
p.rity they enjoyed ; and to implore the beneficent giver of eve- 
ry good and perfect gift, for" that particular mercy and favour, 

they in their prefent circumftances flood in need of. One 

fpecial end I fay, was for thankfgiving for mercies received. 


Let. 10. ( 209 ) 

Levit. vii. 11, 12. Pfal. cvii. 22. And let them facrifice the 
facrifices of thankful ving, and declare his works with rejoicing; 
or fo'- che impztration or obtaining; of mercies wanted, either in 
the way of a vow, or a free-will offering. The difference be- 
tween a vow and a free-will oiTering confided in this; in the 
free- -v ill offering, the thing was prefented immediately to God; 
but in a vow, there was only an en^a^ement for the prefent, 
that upon receiving the mtrcy, or pood thing afked, they ihould 
pay accord ; ivr as they had vowed, e. g. The Mariners, 

Jonah, Jephrha, &c.« Free-will onvrincs generally took place, 

when the offerer was in no fnch prefling circumltances as to urge 
him thereto. Vorivc lacrifices on the contrary prevailed, when 
the perfon was in fome prefent difagrecable circumftances ; or in 
dread of Tome imminent danger, as was the caie with Jephtha, 
in his war with the Ammonites; Jonah in the fifties beilv, and 
with Abfalom, when an exile from his native country. || 

As votive facrifices took place in order to obtain tome future 
good; (o euchar'ftical facrifices were intended to exprefs the gra- 
titude and thenkfulnefs of the offerer for the good things he had 
already obtained : Particularly fuch whofe prayer had been heard, 
and their petition granted for deliverance from fome imminent 
danger, e. g. David, Pfal. cxvi. 16, 17. ManafTeh, 2 Chron. 
xxxiii. 16. Nothing was more current anions' the Jews than 
this opinion, viz. that a facrifice of thanksgiving mould be pre- 
fented to God, by every one for whom he hath wrought fome- 
thing like a miracle; who hath with fafety failed the leas, tra- 
verfed the defert, been de: verr- i rro.nprifon, or reftored to health 

from fome dangerous difeafe. f To the of the peatte* 

offering, belonged the Ram of the con/ecratton; Exod. xxix. 18. 
Levit. ix. 4. the Ram which was offered up by the Nazarite 


H Votive facrifices prevailed very frequently an:ong the Henthens j 
when obnoxious to any immediate danger, or about to engage in fome 
dangerous enterprife. Thus in Gaul, as often as they were affl'cted 
with any epidemical grievous difeafes j or were engaged in any dan- 
gerous war, they voluntarily offered up human facrifices, or vowed 
they would do fo. Csefar de hello Gallico. Lib. 6. — According to the 
fame Author, it was cuftoi.-ary for the Roman Pretors, before they fee 
out to take pofTeffion of their refpectivc provinces, to which they ftrtre 
appointed, to enter into a vow. Catfar de bello Civit. Lib. 1 . 

This it feems was the form of the vow they entered into on fuch an 
•ccafion.— Quod ft Jupiter faxis, tune tibi bovc aurato futurum vovennk. 

t Outram de Tacrine! is, Lib. 1 . 

Let. ro. ( 210 ) 

at the expiration of his vow; Num. vi. 14. alfo at the dedica- 
tion of the tabernacle, each of the twelve tribes of lira el brought 
for a facrifice of peace-offering, two oxen, five ranis, five he- 
goats of the firftycar; Num. vii. 17. and alfo, at the feaft of 
the firft fruits, two Lambs of the firfl: year, were offered up for a 
facrifice of peace-offering;; Levit. xxiii. 19. alfo at the dedica- 
tion of the temple. 1 Kings viii. 62, 63. To the facrihee of 
thanklgivinsr, may he referred the dedication of all the fiift 
horn both of man and beaft to the Lord. Kxod. xiii. 12. Thou 
ffialt fet apart to the Lord, all that openeth the matrix; and eve- 
ry firftling that Cometh or a heart, which thou haft : The males 
fnall be the Lord's. A reafon for this is affigned, v. 15. And it 
came to pafs, when Pharaoh would hardly let us go, that the 
Lord flew all the fir ft born in the land of Egypt, the tuft-born 
of man, and the firft-born of heart : Therefore 1 Sacrifice unto the 
Lord, all that openeth the matrix being males; hut all the firft- 
born of my children I redeem. — To thefe eucharirtical facrifices, 
may alfo be refered the jewifti decimations. Levit. xxvii. 32. 
And concerning the tythe of the herd, or of the fiock, even of 
whatfoevu- paffeth under the rod; the tenth lhall be holy unto 
the Lord, f 

I proceed now Oncfimus to take a brief view of the fin-offerings 
which t o p -, ce among the Jews. For underftanding the na- 
ture, e»d, and defign of this, you may confult Levit. iv. This 
was inffituted for the Priert, the body of the people, the chief 
rulerj and i'or any private perfon. Part of the blood was fprink- 
Ied towards the Holy of Holies, part put upon the horns of the 
altar of incenfe and part poured forth at the bottom of the brazen 
altar of I unit- offering. —The general end and defign of the 
fin -offer ins: was atonement, or expiation oi fin. But the queftion 
ks, what kind of fins was the fin- offering defigned to make an 


f Outram from Maifnmiiles gives this account of the decimation of 
their flocks. They incloled their Lambs, their kids, and their calves 
in a to kl, with a door fo narrow as not to admit but one at a time to 
come forth. This being done, their Mothers finding without and 
bleating, within hearing of their young 5 they in order to meet with 
their dams came out at this door, and fpec e*l c<*re was taken chat no vi- 
olence il.ouM be ufed in bringing thein out, but that they ihould come 
out of their own accord ; and in their coming forth they were numbered 
wirh a rod, thus, one, tw o, three, four, five, fix, leven, eight, nine, and the 
tenth whatfoever it was, was the Lord's; and was not by any means to 

be redeemed See *he law for this, Levit. xxvii. 33. He 

ihall not fearch whether it be good or bad, neither mail he euange it: 
And if he change it at all, then both it and the change thereoi ihall be 
•holy; it mall not be redeemed. Outiaru de facrificiis, Pag. 1 15. 

Let. 10. ( 211 ) 

atonement for, or expiate ? The fin offering may be taken in a 
large fenfe, as includin : the trefpafs -offering or as contra-dif- 
tinguifhed to it. In the firfr. fenfe, it may he viewed as extend- 

- to every fin whatfoevcr that is pardonable; and thus the fin- 
offering includes the trefp4 r s.nfferin<: in it, or any other kind of 
facrifices whatfoever intended for expiation J And thus it (lands 
Oppofed to pre! umptu<">us fins, for which no facrifice was provided 

the jewiih law. Num. xy. 27, 28, 29, 30. But befides 
prelum ptuous fins, fins sf ignorance, or fins proceeding from the 
violence of a temptation or paffion ; or which might proceed frrm 
inadvertency, carelefnefs, or imprudence; the'e and the i 
were the fins fry which the fin -offering was provided. You may 
lee the whole law concerning ihe fin-offering, in Levit. iv. It 
the anointed Prieffc zrr, and mifs the mark ; his offering is to be 
a young buUock; v. 3. For the whole congregation, a young 
bullock; v. 13. for the ruler, a kid of the goats, 3 male with- 
out hiemiih; v. 22- for any particular perfon, a Kid, or elle a 
. a female without Mem-fii. v. 27. 
Some have thought, that the fin-offering had a reference to 
fins of cmifiio.n ; the trefpafs-offering to fins of commifiion. 
But we find, that the trefpafs-offering referred to fins of 
.lion, as well as commiiucn. Lev.t. v. 1. U he do not 
utter it, when he ought to do it: Here is a fin of omiifion 
mentioned, for which a trefpafs-offering was appointed.— Some 
have imagined that the fin-offering was inftituted for fins ag : : n.: 
the fecrnd table of the moral law; and the tefpafs-offering for 
fias againft the fir ft. But it is evident, that the trefpafs-offering 
relates both to firft, and iecond -table fins; fuch as deceit and vi- 
fcl^ice to one's Neighbour, as well as perj ary a^ainil God. Lev. 
vi. 2. Others have dated the difference thus. 'That there is 

; ardia fc-fti, ignorance of the fail in the one, and i^ncrcntia 
juris, ignoraojee of the rule in the other. But the true difference 
I apprehend lies in this; that the fin-offering was for fins of ig- 
norance and mfir.., ;v, but the trefpaiVoffering extended to fins 
of knowledge. This may appear partly from the Hebrew term 
Cbaiicb, ptccjre, which properly fignifies to mifs the mark a man 

aims at ; prspris cjl err are, vei a jeepc. Buxt.^rff. 

The trefpafs-offering, Afham, although uied for fin in genera', 
yet it feems to imply in it, in a more efpecia'i manner fins of an 
higher nature; iuch as are committed with more deliberation, 
and with more confent of the will, and againft more light and 
knowledge. The fin-offering then feems to relate to tbcie invo- 
luntary infirmities, which are unavoidable, while a body of fin 
and death dwells in us, and which are confiftent with a ftate of 
aCuranc* $ni gafpel fmcerity : Jhe trefpafs-oiferiag to thefe con- 

P 2 

Let. 10. ( 212 ) 

confciencc-wafting fins, which arc inconfiflent with a ftate of 
affurance and communion with God. 

The Pried was ordered to dip his finger in the blood, and to 
fprinkle it feven times before the Lord; that is, before the vail 
of the fanduary towards the Holy of Holies. Upon the great 
day of atonement, he was to fprinkle it within the vail; hut be- 
caufe he was not to enter into the mod holy place every day, 
nor upon every occafion, but only once a year; therefore at 
other times, he did but fprinkle it towards the holy place, upon, 
or towards the vail. 

The blood of Jefus which was fhed for the expiation of our 
fins, in allufion to this is called " the blood of fprinklins:," in- 
timating its effectual application to our fouls, for our purification 
from the filth, and falvation from the guilt of fin. Heb. ix. 14, 
and 12, 24. And if, as fomc fay, the number (even is a per- 
fect number, it may fugged to us the perfection of ChriiVs fa- 
crifice and atonement, to anfwer all the purpofes of our redemp- 
tion : It faves from fin's guilt, and thus frees from condemnation j 

it purges from fin's filth, and thus renders us meet for glory. 

Part of the blood of the fin-offering was fprinkled upon the in- 
cenfe altar. " Neither, (fays the Apoltle) by the blood of goats, 
or calves, but by his own blood, he entered in once into the ho- 
ly place, having obtained eternal redemption for us." The 
high Pried of our profeflion is now no more hangingon the crofs, 
but Handing at the golden altar. Rev. viii. 3. There "was 
given him much incenfe, that he mould offer it with the prayers 
of all Saints, upon the golden altar. " I heard a voice, (fays 
the beloved Apoftle) from the four horns of the golden al- 
tar." Our pr.iyers find acceptance with God, we may expect a 
gracious anfwer to our petitions, when they are prefented in 
ChriiTs ii~/»ie, and perfumed with the incenfe of his atonement 
and merit. It is owin:* to his having entered into the holy 
place with his own blood, that a voice is heard from the four 
horns of the golden altar in anfwer to our prayers. — The reft of 
the bbod of the fin -offering was poured forth at the bottom o^ 
the altar of burnt-offerings. Levit. iv. 7, 18, 25, 30, 34. 
The effufion of the blood of Jefus, as an offering for our fins to 
fatisfy divine juftice, purchase pardon, and procure our final 
falvation ; and the relation of that blood to the altar of his divine 
nature, are here emblematically pointed forth. On the great 
day of atonement, the blood was carried in, and fprinkled upon 
the mod holy place: Here it is fprinkled upon the altar of in- 
cenfe, and the reft poured forth by the altar of burnt-offerings. 
Th: blood of the (Ion Lamb of God, hath a particular influ- 
ence in all the concernments of our falvation from firft to laft- 


Let. 10. ( 213 ) 

Would you my dear Omftmus, lee your fins forgiven, and 
atonement made r Behold the blood of atonement, whereby a!l 
your fins however numerous, however aggravated, forgiven, 
fully and fcr ever forgiven, never to be charged to your account, 
nor rife up in judgment as the caufe of your condemnation. 
Would you experience your prayers accepted, and grac.oufly 
anfwered? Behold the blood upon the horns of the golden altar. 
Would you behold the gates of the celeftial manfions fet open, 
and an abundant entrance adminiftred to you, into the holicft cf 
all ? Behold the blood fprinkled before the vail; fee, and firmly 
believe this great truth, that the blood of Jefus has a peculiar in- 
fluence in all the precious concerns of your immortal interefts 

both here, and hereafter.?:- -What a fource, an everfiowing 

fource of the mod fubftantial comfort and unfading delight arifes 
from this doctrine to finners, fenfible of their habitual failures. 
Do they complain that when they pray, their hearts wander; 
when they hear, they underftand little, and remember lefs. 
They lament, they are fo eafily overtaken, and carried afide 
from the path of duty, and from that uniform pra&ice of piety 
and holinefs, which they mould on all occafions purfue: In eve- 
ry thing they fin, they mifs the mark. Here, (hften to the foul- 
ravifhing theme) here, is a fin offering provided, and provided 
by God himfelf. " There is not a juft man upon earth that 
doth good and finneth not." Therefore God ordained this fin- 
offering, which, as it ferved for a legal expiation, and purgati- 
on of the fins of thofe who lived under thar ceconomy; fo it did 
prefigure to them, the blood of Jefus Chrift which cleanfeth from 
all fin. Are we not my dear Onefimus, under the highefr. obliga- 
tions in point of gratitude, to love, fear, and reverence him, who 
gracioufly condescended to be made fin, and a fin-offering for us 
to procure pardon, and pardon for our habitual failings. 

Permit me now Ontftmvs, to take a brief view of the trefpafs- 
offering. The difference between this and the fin-offering as I 
already hinted lies here: The latter was particularly inftitutid 
for fins of infirmity and ignorance ; the former extended to fins 
againft light and knowledge. — i — The trefpafs-effering was pro- 
vided by God forfuch as concealed their knowledge when called to 
tcftify the truth upon oath. Lcvit. 5, 1, 6. if a foul fin, and 
hear the voice of fwearing, i. e. eitherthe Judge adjuring, or call- 
ing him forth to teftify upon oath ; or hearing others 1 wearing, 
curfing, and hlafpheming. You may fee an inftance of the for- 
mer in the High Prieft, Matth. xxvi. 63. I adjure thee, (fays 
he to Jefus) by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou 
he. Chrift the Son of God. Unto which adjuration, or voice of 
fwearing, our Lord Jefus Chrift made anfwer, and did declare f he 


Let. ic. ( 214 ) 

truth, though before this he field his peace. This was cafus con- 
fifponis, a cafe wheiein comeffion cf the truth was called for. 
We have an inftanceof the fritter, in Levit. xxiv. 10, 11. \Ve 
are there informed, that the Ifraelitifh woman's Ton blasphemed 
the nunc of the Lord, and curfed; the matter was reported to 
Molts, and he enquiring of the Lord what punifhment ftiould 
be infhcled on the bla'phemer, he was ordered by God to be Hon- 
ed to death. || 

The ncx f . cafe for which the trefpafs- offering was provided, 
was for ceremonial uncleannefs, Levit. v. 2, 3. But in order 
that you may obtain a more com pr eh en five view of the feveral 
forts of uncleanneffes for which the trefpafs-ofFtmng was infti- 
tuted, you may confult Levit. chap. xi. to the xvi. inclufive. 
The third cafe for which the trefpa r s-oftering was appointed; 
was fwearing to dn any thing that was unlawful, and exprefly 
prohibited by God. Levit. ix. 4. Such was the oath that 
David took. 1 Sam. xxv. 22. O^ this nature was Herod's 
oath, and theirs who fwore to kill Paul ; of this kind alfo was 
Jephtha's vow ; nothing could have been more rafh and pre* 
fumptuous. What, if a dog, or a fow, had flrft met him, or fome 
other creature legally unclean, and unfit to be facrificed to the 
Lord ? And indeed, the firft object that prefented itfelf after his 
return was as unfit to be offered up in facrifice as any other pof- 
fiMy could be. Here then was ground for a trefpafs ofTerine;. 

The Jews refer fwearing to thefe four heads: Swearing before 
a magiftrate, in order to confirm the truth of what is avouched, 
Levit. i. this they call jusjurandum tsjlimonii. Again, jusju- 
randum ds fi^non-; of this kind of fwearing, we have an account 
at large in Leyit. vi. 1. if a foul fin, and commit a trefpafs 
againfr. ihe Lord, and lie unto his neighbour in that which was 
delivered to him to keep, or in fellowfbip, or in a thing taken 
by violence, or haih chceived his neighbour; v. 3 or have 
found that which was loft, and lieth concerning it, and fweareth 
fallly; in any of all thefe that a man doth finning therein. 
Again, jusjurandum vanum, a vain oath ; this they divide into 
four parts, 1. When a man fwears to any thing manifeftly falfe ; 
as if a man would fwear, that marble was filver. 2. When a 
man would fwear to any thing manifeftly true; as when a man 
would fwear that marble was marble. 3. When a man fwears 
to do a thing absolutely unlawful, as Herod did when he fwore 


I! From this I think we may learn, that a man may contract upon 

himfelf the guilt of other men's fins, if he he properly called to make a 

difcovery of them, and yet doth it not. The man that heard the voice 

of fwearing and concealed it, was to confefs his fin, and offer a trefpafs- 


Let. .10. ( 215 ) 

to kiil John. Laftiy, when a man 4wears to- do a thingabfolute- 
ly impoffiWc, as if a man would fwear to tall for twenty or thirty 
days. Toe la ft kind of (wearing taken notice of by the J- 
they call jusj uranium pronunc 'latum. Levit. v. 4. \ 

Now the renied. provided lies here, the offender mu ft confefs 
his fin, and offer his tm~pa r s-cffering, Levit. v. 6. In o'der 
for expiation, he n»uft bring a Lamb, or a Kid, a female, v. 6. 
tor his trefpafs-offenng; or, if he he not aMe to afford this, he 
mutt; bring; for histrefpals offering two turtle-doves, or two young 
pigeons. tVone for a fin-offering, the other for a biirnt-offenng. 
The Hn-rffjring was for that particular (in which at preient bur- 
dened the man's conscience ; the burnt -offering was 'or fin in 
general. But in cafe he could not, through poverty afford this, 
he mull bring foe his offering the tenth part of an ephah ot fifle 
flour, v. 11, 12, 13. Further, the trefpafs-offenng was pro- 
vided for fuch as treipaffed ignorantly againlt the holy things ot 
the Lord, Levit. v. 15 compared with chap. xxii. 14, 15> 
10. The trefpafs-offenng was alio provided for fins done through 
ignorance a;»d weaknefs ; Levit. v. 17, 18, 19. and for t hoi e 
.committed againft light and knowledge; of which, we have a 
variety mentioned in Levit. vi. from the beginning to r. 8 ; 
fuch as injuftice, and theft; force and violence; lying, fraud, 
and deceit; perjury, or iwear.-ng falfiy a! out any tning. The 
•remedy provided forthefe offences is threefold rethtution, Lc it. 
vi. 4, addition of a fifth part; v. 5. and a ram for a trepals- 
effenng. v. 6. 

v much of divine lV-vcre enev i to be (cex\ here ; the tref- 

- -offering, which had for its ofject greater fins than the firk- 
ofrering; yet a ieffer faennce iva- appointed for expiation than 
was allowed in fch« fn -offer! or;. A ram is the 
required in the treiprVc-vfierine ; hut trie (is offering, which had 
tor its object fins of ■-".-, no lets than a 

young bullock is required. The truth of :. l, .c matter is, that ff 
a atonement had been, or rather could have been made, 

orifices, there would mc. ave been found a 

proper p between the 6a, and th_* offegcing. But fe< 

cal expiation made by all t 
crinccs, : of the lawgiver in this various inllitut:on is 

enough or us; here we mo.l acquiefce, where no other rea 
doth appear, or can pMr.olv be given, — It is aho very remarka- 
bk> that in al! the meat-offering, th:re were to be no mixture 
of leaven, or honey ; but in the peace-offerings, there was lea- 
ven, and in the offering of toe Hrit fruits, tiiere was Bon 

t Outrara dt Satrif. Lbi. 1 . 

Let. to. ( 216" ) 

God's will as revealed to his creatures is to be the rule of their 
conduct in all things. 

What infinite virtue and value is in ChrifFs atonement made 
hy blood -ftiedding! He is onr trefpafs, as well as our fin-offer-- 
ing. f " The blood of Jefus Chrift his Son, cleanleth from all 
fin." — What encouragement is here for the greateft: of Tinners to 
have recourfe to his blood, for the pardon of all their fins howe- 
ver numerous, and however hainotifly aggravated in their na- 
ture. The redeeming virtue of the blood of Jefus, is far fuperi- 
or to the condemning, polluting power of fin. This intrinfic 
virtue flows from the dignity of the atoning perfon. It is the 
blood of God, Acts xx. 28. Sinners of every defcription, 
confeious of guilt, and trembling under the dread apprehenfions 
of wrath, never fhould be difcouraged to receive the atonement. 
Rom, v. 11, 17. but r.ither tremble for fear of rejecting it. 
Heb. iv, 1. Sinnners never fhould be afraid of believing, but 
of not believing : For the gofpel was never defigncd by G©4^Ls> 
fill men's heads with fpeculative notions, but to beget faith in 
Tinners hearts. Rom. iv. 23, 24. 

Oneftmusy was not, think you, the gofpel preached to the Jews 
in all their legal facrifices, and in all the vaft variety of rites and 
ceremonies that attended thofe facrifices ? And particularly, was 
not this great and important truth held up before their eyes, the 
fubftitutipri of the victim in the room of the offerer ? And did 
not this adumbrate and point out the Lord Jefus Chrift, our 
riaffovcr facrificcd/t/r us U — The truth of this will evidently ap- 
pear from the few following confederations. — Did not the pour- 
ing out of the blood plainly argue, that the offender ought to 
have fuffered no lefs than death for his crimes ? God exprefly 
teaches this doctrine, that the blood of the facrifice was faed/or, 
or inflead of the blood of the offerer. Levit. xvii. \\. ts For 
the life of the flefh is in the blood; and I have given it to <o U 
upon the altar, to make an atonement for your fouls; for it is 
the blood that maketh an atonement f r the foul. For this rea- 
Ton the blood was forbidden to be eaten, becaufe it made a typi- 
cal atonement for the foul. The Apoftle has his eye on this in 
his epiftle to the Hebrews, chap. ix. 22. " Without fhedding 
of blood there is no remiifion." i. e. God in a confiftency 
with the purity of his nature, and the righteoufnffs of his law, 
cannot pardon fin without a previous fatisfaciion ; and prior to 
this, a violent death is requifite, prefigured by the pouring out 
of the blood. Such a death as was thus adumbrated by the pia- 


t In Ifaiah ljii. 10. we are exprefly told that his foul ihould be 
rmde a trefpaTs-offering. 4< When 'thou '/halt make JJbam napbfo, his 
foul a trefpafs- offering." 

Let. 10. ( 217 ) 

enlar vi&im* ©fold, ChriiV fuffered.—^ — -What did the impcftti-, 
on of hands on the head of the victim p int out ? This J hinred 
at already; and this was fuch a neceiTary rite, tl^ar it coi\ ] d not 
he difpenfed with. Lcvit. i. 1. Exod. xxix. ,to. He that 
brought the Offering., or the facrifxing Priert, were I cund to lay 
their hands on the head of the facrifice; n^t only to teftify rhe 
dedication, and conlccraticn of the animal to God, hut chittfj 
and principal'} to fi/nifv the fubftituth n of the vicYm in the 
room of the (inner, and the tranflation of his auilt upon the facri- 
flee. Hence the heart offered u;> in facriflce is faid to ftv — 
Was there not alfo a confcfllon of fin made over the head of the 
facrifice, either by the Pritft, or the people, as I have fhown al- 
ready ? Aaron was or.ered to put his hsiids on the head of rhe 
Scape-goat, and confefs over it all the iniquities, fins, and tranl- 
greftions of the congregation. Doth not this evidently point rut, 
that the goat fuftained the phce, and flood in the room rf the 
whole congregation ; and that all their fins were typically tran£ 
ferred on him for expiation ? Was there not likewife in thole 
legal facrifices a deprecation of divine wrath ? This invariably 
took place in the cafe of the unkn6wn homicide. Deut. xxu 
8. When a man was found flain, and the perfon, and manner 
unknown; the men of that city which lay next the flain man, 
were ordered to bring a red Heifer down to a rough valley, and 
there (trike off its head; and the Elders of the city were at the 
fame time commanded to wafh their hands over the head of the 
Heifer, repeating thefe words ; " our hands have not fhed this 
blood, neither have our eyes feen it. Be merciful unto thy peo- 
ple Ifrael, O Lord, which tou hart redeemed, and lay not inno- 
cent blood unto thy people of Kraei's charge." Why all this ado 
about the red Heifer ? But ro let tfoat people fee that the guilt of 
innocent blood could not be removed by an a£f. of mere mercy, 
without a facriflce. " Pardon, (fay they) thy people, by ac- 
cepting this facriflce ; a ^d impute not innocent blood to thy peo- 
ple IfraePs cha r ge." Plainly intimating, that the red Heifer fuf- 
tained the place of the people, typically to. remove that guilt 
which otherwife would have been imputed to them.— ^Again, 
the effect of thofe facrifices clearly evince their vicarious nature, 
viz. expiation for fin, and appeafing an offended Deity. Where 
facrifices took place accordmg to Heaven's inflitution and ap- 
pointment, thefe two things were the immediate refult. The 
Greeks have three terms exprefiive of the two Hebrew words to 
expiate, and appeafc, viz. propitiation, remimon, and redemp- 
tion: So that every facrifice had a reference to thefe three follow- 
ing things, to God, to fin, and to the offerer. To appeafe and 
turn away Gods wrath, to expiate fin, and obtain redemption 


Let. 10. ( 2ig ) 

from punifhment to the offerer. Thefe three great ends never 
could have been obtained, if the Levitical facrifices had not been 
propitiatory, either typically, or really ; neither could the offerer 
have reaped the fmalfeft advantage by his faenfice, aMra<5l;ng 
from its vicarious nature, or its fubftitution in hu (lead. God 
could not have been appealed without fheddms; or blood, neither 
Could (in have been removed without punifhment. 

From the confederation of thefe things, I think we may fafcly 
infer; that the Levitical facrifices were both vicarious, and ty- 
pically fatisfaclory. Without viewing them in this light, it 
would be difficult I think, to aflign a reafon for their imTitutiop. 
In this fenfc the Apoftle Paul views them in his epiftle to the 
■Hebrews. In this light, we can read the Jewifh ritual with.fpi- 
ritual profit and advantage: Abfcra&ing from this view, the 
whole of that deconomy will appear dry, infipid, puerile, and 
trifling. What thofe facrifices accompiifhed cerimonially^ the 
iacrifice of Chrifl: accomplished actually and really. That God, 
who could not without the moft extreme averfation, behold the 
immolation of human facrifices ; that God, which often reftified 
that he was by no means Satisfied with the blood cf Bulls and 
Goats; yet teftified his utmoft complacency and delist, in the 
©ne offering which his Eternal Son made of his holy human na- 
ture, to turn away his anger, and procure pardon and peace to 
finners. " The Lord is well pleated for his righteoumeis 
feke." &o 

Do you afk Oneftmusy were aif thofe piacular facrifices under 
the legal difpenfation typical of. ChrifTs iacrifice of hunielt ;.or 
mily fome of them? Some contend, that only the anniversary 
feenfices were typical of Chrifl's, and that the other facrifices 
which obtained under that ceconomy were figurative only ci 

chfiftian fpiritual facrifices. 1 would imagine One/}mus y that 

not only thole facrifices which took place en the" Jews anuiverfa- 
ly, hut all other hylaflic, or propitiatory sacrifices, which were 
publicly offered up for all, or privately for individuals, pointed 
at Chrift's iacrifice : For thefe following rea'.ons. 

&ecau!e the whole ceremonial law was typical of Chrifl. for 
whatever fuhordinate reafons may be affigned for that inliitution, 
yet the princip.l reafon, according to the ApoftJe Paul was, to 
ferve as a School-mafler to bring to Chrifl. Gal. iii. 25. And 
Chrift is exprefly faid to be the end of the law. Rom. x. 4, 
That it was the fhadow of good things to come, whereof Chrifl 
was the body. Coll. ii. 17. And as Chrift is truly and really 
the foundation of the new covenam, or covenant of grace; fo 
cfthe whole of divine revelation, and the centre in which the 
whole terminates. All the promifes arc in him yea, and in him 


Let. 10. ( 219 ) 

amen. The faith of thofe old Ttftament believers was not oaly 
thened, aftcTtbeir hopes fupporteji by words, bur by actions. 
God not only dc':vered to them thoft prooiifes and oracles v 
ascertained the Future ■ : ion of the MefHah, and t 

vera! benefits refuir his death; bat by a variety or" types 

and figure:, exhibited the manner and the various circumtlances 
©fthis admjrablc myftery: So as that people which were but 
I^A itaie of minority might, by theft rudiments, and w 
elements, he trained up to a clearer apprehenfion of thofe hea- 
venly good things to be purchafed by Chnft in due time. Hence 
u comes to pais, that whatever C'-rilt was, or performed, had its 
example previous to his mimon, under that legal ceconomy. 
Nothing; iHurtrious, or memorable, cither in perfons, or actions, 
but what had an eve to fc he future Mefiiah. The Leviticai 
prieftltood, (particularly the High Prieft) and facrifices, prefi- 
gured the priesthood and facrifice of Chrift. Wherever thete fa- 
crifices were offered up, they ferved for types and fhadows of 
the violent death and bitter paflion of the Lord of Glory : Ex- 
hibiting at the fame time, a finking ledure on the mifeiable 
{late of mankind by nature, and the remedy provided by Go^'s 
infinite wifdom and fovereign grace; in that victim of Heaven's 
providing, which was in fome future period, to be manifested to 
Ifrael, for the remifiion of fim. What elfe can the Apeflle 
mean, when he call* that difpen'ation a fhadow, a pattern, a 
figure ? &c || 

Again, all thofe facrifices were types of Cluift, which were 
abrogated by his appearance and death in the human nature. 
For if thofe legal facrifices had not had a refpc6t to Chrift's Sacri- 
fice of himfelf, as the ffiadbu has to the body, the ApofUe could 
not with propriety have d em cm ft rated their abrogation, by Chrift's 
coming and death. The type cea r es, when the antitype corner; 
the Shadow evanifrfts upon the appearance of the body. And 
that this is really the cafe needs no proof. U the burnt-offer- 
ings, and other 'acrifices offered on the great day of atonement, 
(as Socinus confefTes) had a refpedt to Chrilt, why mould not 
the fame lacrifices which were daily offered up, and upon other 
emergent occafions, point alio at ChrilVs facrrfice ? The end and 
effeclofboth were the fame; the deftru&ion, and death of the 
victim by blood- fhedding, the expiation of (in, and the redemp- 
tion cf the Sinner. No proper reai'on I imagme can bealEgned, 
why the daily facrifices ihould not have a refpecl to Jeius the 
Lamb of God, as well as their annua! facrifices. 

The daily facrifices among the Jews are by the Apoftle 
Paul expreffy referred to ChrhVs, as the fhadow to the bcay; 

I Heb. viii. 5, 9. chap. ix. 9, 23, 10. 

Let. 10. ( 220 ) 

fee his reafoning on ths head. Heb. vii. 27. chap. x. ir. 
In thefe texts you will find a twofold prerogative or Chrift's, 
above the Aaronical priefthood; thefe were under a neceftity 
daily fo repeat the fame facrifices; but Chrift only once; " by 
once offering up of himfelf, he hath for ever perfected them that 
are fan&ified.'* The latter were obliged to offer for themfelves, 
as for the people: But Chrift offered up himfelf on'y for us. 
Now, where would be the propriety in this reafoning of the Apof- 
tle, if thefe daily facrifices had not adumbrated, and pointed at 
Chrift's facrifice of himfelf. 

In a word, the propitiatory facrifice of the Lamb, took place 
for private perfons, and upon ordinary occafions, as in the daily 
facrifices: But this evidently prefigured Chnft's faenfice of him- 
felf; hence he is fo often termed a Lamb : Not only on account 
of his meeknefs, patience, and innocency, &c. but chiefly, bc- 
caufe he is the Lamb of God, which by his death, was to take 
away fin. What an ilfuftrious type of Chrift was the Pafchal 
Lamb : That it had a refpe<5t to Chrift, the Apoftle Paul evi- 
dently teaches, calling him by that very name: " Chrift our 
paflbver." You know that the Pafchal Lamb was (lain, and its 
blood fprinkled on the door-pofts of the Ifraelitifti houfes, to prc- 
fcrve their firft-born from that imminent deftru&ton which be- 
fel the Egyptians by the deftroying Angel. Thus by the blood 
of Jefus, our paflbver facrificcd for us, and fprinkled, not on our 
door-pofts, but on our guilty confeiences, we are actually re- 
deemed from the dreadful ftorm of God's wrath : And, Oneftmus, 
I know nothing that can fcreen guilty finners from the divine 
indignation but this; " This man, (fays the Prophet) fhall be 
an hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempcnV 
However the atonement and fatisfa&ion of Jefus, may be un- 
dervalued and flighted, this is the only and effectual mean of 
Heaven's appointment, for diverting the ftorm, and procuring the 
fmiles of a juftly provoked Deity. I am fure, that every other 
method that men can pofWy ftrike out for this pnrpofe, will be 
' but as the dry ftubble before the devouring flame. 

There are two things carefully to be adverted to in the facri- 
fice of the Pafchal Lamb; viz. that it was both a focrifics, and a 
jocrament. There was indeed in the paflbver, fome thing extra- 
ordinary which differed from thofe rites afterwards given to regu- 
late the mode of facrificing: Whence according to fome, it can- 
not with propriety be called a facrifice. But, however much 
the ceremonies appertaining to the Pafchal Lamb differed from 
thofe afterwards given, yet it isexprefly called a facrifice. Exod. 
xii. ?7 — Then fhall ye fay it is the facrifice o( the Lord's pafT- 
over. It was (lain, and its blood fprinkled on the door-pofts. *~ 


Let. i-o. ( 22\ ) 

But further, it was a facrament: It was eaten as a feaft.— -Now 
Otuftmusy we will find the r etwo things in the High Pried of our 
proreffian: He was ftain to redem us to God. In the word and 
facrament, he is food for our fouls. The Apoftle Paul joins 
both thefe together, I Corinth, v. 7. Chrift our paffovei is fa- 
crificed for us, therefore let us keep the feaft. Let us by faith 
receive the Lord Jefus Chrift, facrificed for us, as food for our 

To fum up the whole in a few words, I think it is evident, 
that all thofe hylaftic, or propitiatory facrifices under the Old 
Teftament difpsnfation, are to be referred to that facrifice which 
C'-irift offered up to God oi a fweet fmclling favour. The fa- 
crifice of the Lamb as I juft now hinted, pointed at Chrift the 
Lamb of God. The red Heifer, of whofe allies the water of 
purification was made, Nurnb. xix. 2. referred to Chrift, Heb. 
ix. 14. That the fin-offering^ had alfo a reference to him, is 
evident from Rom. viii. 3. where the Apoftle informs us, that 
God fent his S^n in the likenefs of finful flefti, that by being 
made a victim for fin, he might condemn fin in the flelh.— 
Again, in Heb. x. 5. The body which was prepared for Chrift, 
and his oblation o^ that body, is oppofed to the burnt-offerings 
and (aerifies under the legal difpenfation. And in Heb. xiii. 
12. Thofe facrifices whofe bodies were burned without the 
camp, and their biood carried into the holieft of all, are faid to 
hav? their completion in Chrift. 

Permit me Om/imus, to drop a few hints refpe&ing that me- 
morable hiftory of the dedication of the old covenant, and the 
various facrifices that took place on that occasion. This is mi- 
nutely defcribed bv the lac re i hiftorian Mofes, Exod. xx'iv. 
The myftery of this remarkable tranfactio^n is opened up, and 
explained by Paul in his epiftle to the Hebrews, chap. ix. 19, 
20. Mofes at the command of God builds an altar, and offers 
thereon burnt -offv'nngs^ and peace-offerings; part of the blood 
he fprinkles on the altar, part on the people; then fprinkles the 
hook of the law, the tabernacle, and the facred utenfils ; declar- 
ing at the fame time, that this blood was the. blood of the cove- 
nant which God had enjoined them. 

Bifiop Ujber, and other Divines of note, are of opinion, that 
befides the burnt-offerings, and peace-offerings mentioned by 
Mofes, there were alfo fin-offerings. But I think we have no 
reafon to fuppofe that there were any other kind of facrifices offer- 
ed on the occafion, than thefe mentioned by the facred Hiftorian. 
This opinion would feem toinfinuate that the Holocauft was not 
-an expiatory facrifice ; but that it was fo, was proven elfcwhere 
from Lcvit. i. 4. The Syriac verfion faich, that the burnt- 

Let. 10. ( 222 ) 

offering was defigned, ad placationem obtinewhm a /)^; and tj 
Chaldee Paraphraft, that the burnt-offering was inftituted 
expiandum pro co^itationibus cordis ■ u ■ ■ It may here further be 
ohiervcd, that all the facriflces previous to the giving or the law 
were Holocaufts, and yet it is certain, that many were offered 
to expiate fin and turn away God's wrath. Thus, Noah after 
the flood offered burnt-offerings ; Gen. viii. 20. which he did 
according to the opinion of the Jews to atone God, and appeal 
his difplealure. The facrificcs which Job offered for his chil- 
dren, were burnt-offerings, yet they were alio offerings for (in- 
Job i. 5. The reafon of their oblation is thus affigned, it may 
be my Sons have finned. The oblation which God commanded 
Job's rriends to make, was a burnt-offering, Jo!) xjiv. 7. and 
yet it was offered to turn away God's wrath, and procure rernil- 
flon of their nn. And as was already obferved, the Jews affirm, 
that the impofition of hands on the head oH the burnt-offering,. 
was always attended with confeflion of fin, which confefTion, 
was always concluded with a prayer, that the (aerifies might be 
an expiation for them. No more can he faid of the fin, or tref- 
pafs-offering, than of the burnt-offering, viz. to. make an 
atonement. This ceremony ended, the Elders of the congre- 
gation who were ftri&ly prohibited to come near, while the 
law was promulgated, now came near, law the glory of the 
God of Ifrael, and drank in his prefence, and he laid not hia 

hands on them. May we not learn from this Oneftmus, fome 

very important truths : That God cannot enter into a cove- 
nant with his creatures, as finful creatures, without fatisfa&i- 
on made to his injured law, and offended juftice, by blood- 
ihedding. The old covenant muff be dedicated with Wood. 
Both the ruff, and fecond Teftaments were made upon q 
facrifice. The fame truth was taught Abraham, \tx that 
covenant God made with him, Gen. xv. 9. What the blood 
of Calves and Goats did typically, the facrifice of Chriff did 
adually, and really : Hence his blood is called the blood of the 
New TeftamentV or covenant, died for the renijmon of fins : 
And Chrift's death was abfclutely neceftary in order for the re- 
miffion of fins, and for ratifying and confirming the covenant of 
grace in which the promife of pardon and remiffion is contained. 
<£ F'or where a Tcftament, (or covenant) is, there muff of ne- 
ceffiity be the death of the Teffator." " For a (covenant) or 
Teltament is of force after men are dead, otherwise it is of no 
force while the. Teftator Jiveth."-*—— Again, at the dedication of 
the old covenant, the blood was fprinkled upon the altar, the 
people, upon the book of the law, and upon the tabernacle. For, 
aUheugb aether the book of the law, nor the tabernacle are 


Let. 10. ( 223 ) 
mentioned by Mofes, as being fprinkled with the blood of the 
facrifice, yet thefe are to be underftood by analogy, as compre^ 
hendcd in the fprinkiing of the altar, f This blood was fprinkle4 
upon the altar before God, for expiation and atonement; be~ 
caule it typically turned away his anger, and rendered him pro- 
pitious; upon the people, for remiflion and fanftification. 1 Pet* 
i. 2. Heb. ix. 14; upon the book of the law to inform us, 
;hat by Jetus the law is fulfilled, its precept in that obedience 
he yielded to it in his life; and his bearing its penal fan&iori in 
his death ; upon the tabernacle, for its conlecration. The blood 
of Jefus, or his atonement and merit, has a particular influence 
to render al! our religious fervices acceptable to God. (< We 
arc made accepted in the beloved." £oth 0U r perfons and ouf 
fervices, are accepted only for his fake. By the blood of Jefus, 
the way to the celeftial tabernacle, is laid patent and open. 
Heb. ix. 23. chap. x. 19 Obferve the effect of this dedi- 
cation of the old covenant with blood; vi£. accefs and liberty 
granted to the Elders of the congregation into the prefence of 
God. We are told they faw the Godoflfrael, they did eat in 
his prefence, and he laid not His hand upon them. || Thus by 
virtue of the blood of Jefus, the great God is proclaiming him-r 
felf to £nners propitious and gracious, and fo well pleafed v.itU 
the death of his Son as our furety, that he invites the vileft of 
(inners, the mod abandoned of men may come without the lead 
intimidation to his throne, and inftead of meeting with deftru&i- 
on, may expect ro End grace and obtain mercy. May my Que- 
fimus never preiuroe to approach the throne of God, without 
having in his eye the death and blood {bedding of the Son of 
God. Let tboughtlefs men fpurn at the doctrine of a vicarious 
fatisfa#ien as they pleafe, and trample under their feet the bfood 
cf/be covenant, accounting: it a common thing, unfit for procuring 
our acctf; to God ; I am fure, my dear friend, you fee, you arc 
firmly perfuaded of this important truth, that we never could 
have appeared in the prefence of an infinitely pure Being inde- 
pendent cf the furecv righteoufnefs of our glorious H'gh Prieit. 

From the above Omjimus, I think it is plain and ev; 
that the jevvifh facrifices, private, as well as --public, the daily, 
as well as the anniversary, had all a refpe£r. to that one offering 
which Chrifl made of hirafelf to take away £n. 


+ Jofephus faun, that Mofes confecrated far God's fervice the ta- 
bernacle, and all the veiTels ofit, by anointing s^em with oil, ani 
fprinkling them with the blood of Bulls and Goat?. 

(1 £xod. xxiv. IQ. 

Let. io. ( 224 ) 

Do you enquire again Onefimus, were all the prorvtiatoryjfa- 
critices which obtained among the Jews, defigftCcl to make a ty- 
pical atonement for all manner of crimes, or on]y for fo :,e frffall 
violations of the law, i. e. for fins which were n't !o highfv ag- 
gravated as others ? Some maintain that there were no iacrifices 
pflfcrod up under the law, but' for fins of ignorance, and infirmi- 
ty; || and rh.'.t no facrifice was intended for great violations of 
rhe divine law, or (ins wilfully, and prefumptuouily committed. 
This they do, with a view to enervate the argument taken from 
the jewifh facrifices, to eftabtilh the fatisfacfory nature of Chnft's 
facrifice for fin. It is freely acknowledged, that there were 

fome fins for which no facrifice was provided ; fuch as by a di- 
vine fan&ion laid the perpetrators under the immediate fentence 
of death; as idolatry, inctfl:,' murder, the violation *a\' the fah- 
bath, or when any one took upon him to prophecy falfly in the 
name of the Lord, or turnecl rebellious againit his parents, or 
ufed divination ; or fuch as pfefumed to eift the fat of any ani- 
mal which men make an offering by fire unto the Lord, or fuch as 
cat leavened bread on any of the days in which the paflover was 
obferved, &c. Whoever ' were found guilty of any of thefc 
crimes were to be cut off from the congregation. But from this 
we arc by no means warranted to infer, that no facrifice was de- 
signed but for fome flight tranfgreffions. The contrary of this 
will appear from the following confiderations. 

Did not the High Prieft on the great day of atonement con- 
fers, by the impofition of hands on the head of the Scape-goat, 
(in in general,, without any exception? Why was there fuch a 
general confeflion made, if there was no tyriicaf atonement 
made, but for fins of ignorance and infirmity', which father pol- 
luted the body, than defiled, or wounded the confeience ? The 
Apofflc Paul fpeaks the very fame language, J-feK x. 3. •* But 
in thefe facrifices, there 'is a remembrance made of fins every 
year." Why dp thefe facrcd penmen, (particularly the former) 
mention fin in general; all the .fins, all the tranfgreflions, all 
the iniquities of the children of lfrael, if none hut fome flrght 
franfgreiiions could be typically purged by facrifice ?' Ac'dtothis, 
that not only were all the fins, and ' tranfgfc'flions offhecongrc- 
, Ration confefled over the head of the Scape-goat, on rhe gttat 
\ day of atonement ; but we find a particular enumeration of 
fome very grofs fins for which facrifices were defi'gned. Thefc 
you will find in Levit. v. i, 2, $, 4, 5. chap.. 6. v. 2, 3, 
5. and Numb. y. 6, 7. Moreover, wha^ a great Jin was the 
. murmuring of the Ifraelites agajnft Mofes,.aiicl Aaron; this of- 
" v fe'rtcc 

II Of this opinion was Socinus.Tn his book de ferv. page 2 chap. xi. 
Volkellius entertained the fame"notion. VolkeJ. Lib. 3. chap, xxxviii. 

Let>io. (225 ) 

fence ftruck immediately and di redly againft the wifdom of 
God, in the appointment of the one to be the. Pried, and the 
other the Prince of that people. Upon this the wrath of God 
was fo inflamed, that a great number perifhed under the indig- 
nant (Iroke of a juftly incenfed God. But in order to turn away 
his wrath, Aaron at the command ofMofes, takes his cenlcr 
full of incenfe, and running in between the dead and the living, 
expiates the crime of that people, and flops the plague which 
had already made dreadful havock in the camp. Numb. x. 
45, 46, &c Neither was the fin of David lefs in numbering 
the people, for which the Lord fmote feventy thoufand of them; 
but this was expiated by facrifice, 2 Sam. xxv. 24, 25. The 
fame way were the inhabitants of the c :y which lav next to the 
man which was found murdered, the perfon, and manner un- 
known. Deut. xxi. You will find Oneftmus, in many places 
of .fee-red writ thai God's, anger was appealed, and hi5 wrath 
averted when it began to burn hot againir. great tranfgreilors, by 

_. J find in your's Qrt?/imur f thii query, whether or not had the 
Levrtica! lacri rices any virtue in therfifelves 10 expiate the fin of 
the. offerer ? Permit me to obferve that, in the Levirical facrifice? 
we are to confider the guilt .removed by them ; and their end 
and defign. The guilt is twofold, real, and ceremonial. The 
former re r pe&s the. pollution of the confeience, the latter, the 
impurity of the body. The former was contracted by any breach 
of the moral law, which if not pardoned, laid the tranfgreilbr 
obnoxious to eternal deftruftion. The latter was contracted by 
fome breach of. the ceremonial law which could be removed by 
facrifice; e. g. if an^ perfon touched a dead carcafe, or any 
thing legally unclean, that man was found ceremonially guilty; 
and this guilt could be purged, by facrifice, He could not, pro- 
perly fpeaking, be called a moral tranfgreffof, becaufe there was 
no thing in the touch of a dead body, <y of a leper to defiie and 
pollute the confeience; but n^twithftanding of this he was 
reckoned ceremonially unclean, by virtue of that legal conftitu- 
tion pronouncing fuch polluted; and fuch were excluded from 
intermeddling with the iKred things cf the tabernacle and tem- 
ple, until they were by the law purified. And- as there was a 
twofold guilt which might be charged upon the Jews, fo there 
was a twofold expiation, or purgation provided i; the one cere- 
monial and typical, the other real and myftical. This is taken 
notice of by the Apoftle, Heb. ix. 13, 14. where he diftin- 
guilhes between the purgation of the flefh, and confcietice; the 
former he ascribe* to the blood of the legal facrifice?; the Utter 


Let. 10. ( 225 ) 

ifo the blood wf Jefm. The former rendered the unclean perfort 
fit to attend the fervice of God in the tabernacte and temple, 
bi conjunction with his fellow worfhippers; the latter rendered 
him <fit t*> enjoy tommeniott with God in the tabernacle 
a«d temple fervice. Again, the legal focrifices mar he confidw- 
ed either abfoiutcJy, or relatively. Atofblutety, and in them- 
selves confidencd, they were intended fo purge from that carnal 
impurity of which I have already fpoke, and thus freeing the 
perfon from that ©uni foment which he defetved \x\fofo ecoiejutf* 
tico.—- — .Relativeiy-confitiencd, they were, for another ufe* and a 
quite different end. Tfrc whole cfrthe ceremonial law may be 
oon'fidered both IcgaHy, and evangelically. In the former fenfe, 
it is to be viewed as an *ppcndifc to the Covenant of works; in 
the latter fenfe, a* fubfervient to the Covenant of graces If we 
view the legal facrificcs in the firft fenfe, they rather tended to 
explain, and aggravate the demerit di. fin fhan take it aw&y. 
For thife rcafon they are <eaHod the ** hand writing of ordinance* 
which was againfl us, and contrary to us/' becaufc they were 
clear an 1 Jailing evidences of human guilty and in which 
tfhere was rather a confefliow, than an expiation of fin. t g; 
Circumcifion pointed out to the Jews their native pollution* 
their le^ai walkings, the fikh and httpurity of fm ; their facr'rfr 
ces, th: c p> al guilt of the blrrcrer. iSd tnat the whole jfcwifii 
reebnomy, particularly the cererfconial part of it, confifted ih lit- 
tle elfe, than an open prof cffion i of hm man mifery. But if we 
view the jewifh facTifices in an eWhgelical 4ight, in their relati- 
on to the Covenant of igrace, we 'Will find them typically, and 
%nificativc1y ekj>iating fin, i. et adumbrating, and pointing 
oat its expiatioft by thefufnre»a^e0fartee of the Mefliah jftthe 
human nature, >a>c^iaflyVan^^c*|i|ytodftii(h tran^reflfcn hyr**s 
facrirtce of himfeltf. In ttiisfenfe, ihey afc fftid to be aceeptabl* 
to>God, ami carried atong with them a fwetet favour of reft. (( 

I come then to demonftrate that tine LeViticarfaCrrriceBCoi/td 
not makean atonement for the fmalleft moral tranfgremW; and 
yet at the fame ttme^hatthty'apptff*ery^i'e%uredttiefati5fa^oi 
ry nature of Chriftjs death, as a proper, and Teal atonement: 
b wot 'this tretfhexpfeRy taught us by the Apoftte Paul in 1m 
:pftte to the 'Hebrews, chap, ix. 9. which was a figure •fo.f^he 
time fhco preknt, in which wefc offered bothgifrtarfd faeri&SfB,; 
wnieh could not makehim that did the fervice perfect^ 'as TJcftam- 
hrg W*hfe eonfeienee. This farrre truth is more airipiy iwfifted 
onfcy the fame inched penman, ^chap. * v. 1, 2, 3, 4> 3*. 
By reading : thefc verfcs Qntfimu*, you will- find that the Apoflfc 
hoT^fWh'&wifruth % *aribu* fcrgttfment^ whien%rmy1>c re*. 

II Levir' j. 4. 

Let. 10. ( 227 ) 

duced to thefe ttto. ift He teaches the impotency of thefc 
legal Sacrifices. 2d He pofitively declares the divine will, and 
intention refpecTing them. He evinces the impotency of the 
legal facrifices for three reafons; the firft more general, the other 
two more fpecial and particular. His more general reafon fs ta- 
ken from the end of the ceremonial law, and the facrinces which 
took place under that oeronomv. For the law, (fays he) had 
only the ftiadow of good things to come, and not the very ima^c 
of the things thcmielves. The term jkadivt here ufed by the 
Apnftle, may be undertlood, either as a natural, or artificial (ha- 
dow; in the ririt fenfe it is oppofed to the c'fTential image, i. e. 
to the body, in which fenfe, it is afed by this fame Apoftle, 
Goll. ii. 17. which are a fhadow of good things to come, but 
the body is of Chrift : In the latter fenfe. it fignifies the rude 
reprefentation of a thing, oppofed to the image when fully ex- 
prefled, and finimed : In thi6 fenfe I apprehend the Apoitle here 
ufes the term fhadow. The legal facrifices were only thtftadoiv, 
not the exprefs image of the things adumbrated by them, there- 
fore could by no means atone lor fin,- nor make the offerer per- 
fect: This was referved to a better difpenfation, when thefe fha- 
dow's fhouW fly away, and the whole of that tvpical difpenfation 
be abrogated, by the intervention of a berter, and more perfect 
facrifice, which fhould make a proper, and complete fatisra&icn 
for all the injuries done againft an infinitely holy, and ju3 God. 
The Apoftle again adduces a fpecial reafon for the fupport of 
this truth, taken from the repetition cf the legal facrifices ; v. 2. 
Their continual repetition argued their imperfection and impo- 
tency to purge the conscience from moral poltetion. For if thefe 
Sacrifices bad pofftfTcd that virtue and efficacy to anfwer the end 
of expiation, there would have been no neceffity, either for a 
daily, or anniverUry repetition of them ; but having anfwered 
this end they would have been honourably fufpended: For the 
worfhippers being once purged, would have had no more con* 
fcience of fin. But while there lailed a conilant reiteration cf 
them, they taught the offerer this mortifying kflon, that fin fiiJl 
remained unpurged- The law, (fays this fame inTpired penman) 
maketh nothing perfect. This was referred for him, who in the 
tndofthe world died once for all. ' ■» Again, the Apoftle argues 
from the impoffibility that atonement c bid he made by the legal 
facrifices, v. 4. For it is not poffibie that the blood of bulls, 
or goats fiiould ta*e away fin. This inapoflibility arifes from 
the nature of the fubje£}\ fin muft be expiated in the fame na- 
ture that finned: But between a man, a rational creatore> and a 
beaft, '"there is no communion of nature. Human tttfure fin- 


Let. TO. ( 22 $ ) 

ned, and human nature mud fuffer, before it can he expiated. 
This was impartible with regard to the objefl, God; fin is imme- 
diately, and dirc&ly againftGod: And before he can pardon fin, 
he muff be fatisfied for the injuries he has fuftained by finning 
creatures. But it is abfolutely repugnant to his nature, his wif- 
dom, juftice, andholinefs, to accept of the blood of an irrational 
creature, as a compenfation for all the wrongs done to his law, 
to the jufticc and holinefs of his nature by men. Therefore it was 
Jmpoffible that he could accept of the blood of bulls, or goats, as 
an atonement for moral pollution. It was againft the fpirituaH- 
-ty of his nature, f* God is a fpirit;" therefore his anger a- 
£ainft the finning creature never could be turned away, and 
therefore fin never purged by material blood; But beyond this, 
thefe facrifices could never ftrctch : Pfal. 1. 13. Is it pofliblc to 
conceive, that a Being fo holy, could be appeafed, and his an- 
ger averted, by fuch a vile abject thing as the blood of a goat, 
or a bull r This was referved for '•■ God manifcftVd m the 
. fle(h r " who by the infinite dignity of his perfon, made an infi- 
nite atonement, for an infinite offence. s * Feed the church of 
God, which he hath purchafed with his own blood." To have 
accepted thefc legal facrifices as an atonement for fin, would have 
been repugnant to they///7/reof God. Juftice required that there 
mould !*» in a certain degree an equality between the fin, and 
the punifhment; But between a moral tranfgreffion and the 
death of an irrational creature there was no correfponiience. 
Again, the impoifibirify of the legal facrifices to take away fir* 
will appear, if we connder the nature of fin. In the expiation of 
iniqu ty, there muft be fome aptitude and fitnefs in the remedy, 
to the evil. Sin is not only a corporal, but a fpiritual blemift- 
It harh its principal feat in the foul, and conference. Is it pofli-» 
blethat the blood of bulls, or goats, could waft away this fpiri- 
tuai if a in ? No more than nitre and fo^p could make the Ethio- 
pian white. In order therefore to purge the confeience, and pu- 
nfv the foul,, to deliver the finner both from fins guilt, and J>oI- 
lutjon, it- was icquifite, that a facfifice be found out, whofc vir- 
tue and efficacy mould reach the confeience, and purge it from 
dead work*; it was abfolutely neccfVary, that one be found out, 
who could give the. moll perfect and accurate obedience to the 
law; and out of love for God's glory, and the eternal falvatiort 
of men, fufFer and die in their room and (lead. This glorious, 
and admirable perionage, the infinite wifdonfofGod found out* 
trom the moft generous and difinterefted love, God lent his Son 
into the world ; out of obedience to his Father's command he 
came. _" To do thy will I take delight." In* a woid, the im- 
poiSbility of the legal facrifices to take away fin, and turn away 


Let. 10. £ , 229 ) 

.God's wrath, will appear from the diviwe ordination refpecYing 
them. God all along teftified that he would never accept "of 
burnt -offerings, or offerings for fin, as a true and real fatisfa&i- 
•on, Heb. x. 5, 6. Pial. xl. Wherefore when he cometh 
into the world he faith, facrifice and offerings thou wouldft 
n°f; but a body haft thou prepared me. In facrifices and burnt - 
ofrering*, and offerings for fen J thou haft had no pleafure. It 
rnav here he enquired, why is God faid not to will, or approve 
of thole facrifices, of which he himfelf was the lole inftitutor; 
and in the moll ftii& and peremptory manner enjoined on 
the jewilh nation ? What way, or upon what account, were 
thefe facrifices removed ? '* Above, (fays the Apoftle,) when 
he faid facrifice and offerings, and burnt-offerings, and offerings 
for fin, thou vuouldjl net, neither hadjl pleafure therein.''''' . - i lt 
may here be oblerve.d, that God oftentimes expreffes himfelf as 
difplcafed with thofe facrifices, which he himfelf inftituted, afcd 

- ftri£tly enjoined, not abfolutely and in themfelves conlidered, 
but comparatively ; othcrwife the ail-wife God, would be repug- 
nant to himfelf. The legal facrifices, as they were of Heaven's 
inftitucion, they behoved neceflarily to . have Heaven's ap- 
probation, and could not but be well pkanng to him, when per- 
formed in an agreeableaefs to their facted inititution and defign. 
But when they came to be perverted by hypocrites, who placed 

• the all of their devotion in the external rite, as if God required 
no more in the constitution of real piety, than the mere perfor- 
mance of the external ceremony; In this cafe Gj<d oftentimes 
fpeaks, as if he were difpleafed with the facrifices themfelves. 
In thisfenfe the Following Scripture phrafes'are to be underftood, 
I ! ai. i. ti, 12. Ifai. Ix. 3 Pial. I. 8, 9. — —Again, facri- 
fice* arc fomctimes laid to be rejected by God, in companfon of 
that internal and ipiritual worlhip, which he principally requires, 
and iu itielfjs more excellent, than the ftri&eft acjhefence to any 
external mode, or rite whatever. The jewilh facrifices were 

1 never inftituted by God, but with this view, to be fubferyient to 

-that internal and fpirituat . worfoip which he principally re- 

• fpecH. -And when the jewilh worihippers overlooked the life and 
..fpint of r- Ji::ion,.by rcftuVg !" the external rite, G<>d fpcaks but 

• Ji^hrly of liicic facrifices. See 1 Sam. xv. 22. Hofea vi. 

MiCih vi, 6, 7, 8. Je.rem. vii. 21, 22, 23, &c. In a 
word, _.the»c le^al facrifices are not only fpoken of as rejected by 
God on the account of their profanation by hypocritical worihip- 
pers, nor in regard of that internal fpiritual worlhip, which hp 
■flboyc all requires^ but in a paiticular manner, upon the accouiU 
f)\ that v mo.ft : pcrfccY facrifice of his Son, which in the fulnefs of 
•{ -tmie tejw^r to offer up to. \$£ A away the guilt, and cleanfe, from 


Let. 16. ( 230 ) 

the pollution of fin, which all thefc legal facrificcs never could 
do, nor were ever intended by God for that end. *« Sacrifice 
and offering thou ^Jidft not dcfire, mine ears haft thou opened: 
Burnt-offering and (in-offering, haft thOu not required." Mine 
ears bajl tbou opened; or in the language of trie Apoftlc Paul, 
'* a body haft thou prepared mc." The phrafe ufed by the Spi- 
rit of God in Pfal. xl. is fpoken in allufion to the cuftom which 
prevailed among the Jews; when a fcrvant, or flave would not 
leave his maftcr, but was willing to continue in his fcrvicc, and 
would not go out free; his car was bored with an awl to the 
door-poft, Exod. xxi. 6, 7. And if the fcrvant (hall plainly 
fay, I love my matter, my wife and my children, and I will not 
go out free: Then his maftcr (hall bring him to the Judges; he 
(halt alfo bring him to the door, or unto the door-poft, and his 
maftcr fhaH bore his ear through with an awl, and he fhall fcrve 
him for ever. Sec alfo Deut. xv. 17. This was fymholi- 
cal of that folcmn dedication which the fcrvant made of himfelf, 
to perpetual fcrvkude to his maftcr; and although the boring of 
his car, was no mark of infamy, yet it was dill viewed as a vo- 
luntary mark of fervitudc. " Mine ears, (fays God's fervant) 
haft thou bored." fS He took upon him the form of a fcrvant;" 
and for us became obedient unto death, even the death of the 
crofs, when he might have freed himfelf of that fervitudc; but 
out of obedience to his heavenly Father, and love to loft finners, 
he became man, God manifefted in the flcfh. " A body baft 
thou prepared me."- The feptuagint, perhaps through an in- 
ternal motion of the Holy Ghoft, tranflated the phrafe thus; and 
the Apoftle Paul follows this tranflation. This reading the 
Apoftlc approves of, as the true meaning of the Hebrew phrafe 
when applied by the Holy Ghoft to Chrift; or at leaft equiva- 
lent to it. The fenfe is the fame, whether we fay Chrift's car 
was bored, or a body prepared for him. In both places, and by 
both phrafes, the Spirit of God means nothing elfc than, that. 
Chrift in that human nature, which his Eternal Father prepared, 
and he aflumed, was bound over as his fcrvant to execute his 
will, and fulfil his pleafure by obeying, fuffering and dying to 
glorify his Father, and purchafe an eternal redemption for us. 
Wherefore thefe words are immediately fubjoined: Lo I come, 
to do tby will. q. d. Seeing thou haft chofen and elected mc, 
O my Father, to fufil thy purpofc and decree, and haft fitted 
and prepared me for this important work, here I am, to fulfil 
thy pleafure. If by my obedience and death, thy name be glo* 
rifted, finners faved; I cheerfully fubmit to fatisfy the law's 
precept by a forrowful life, and its penal fan&ion by an accurfed 
death. Let that legal difpcnlation ccafc, let thefe Levitical fa- 


Let. 10. ( 231 ) 

Cfificcs be for ever fuperfeded; let thofe (hadows fly away, Lo I 
conic, the true fubftance of them alt 

From what has been advanced Onefimus, is it not evident that 
the legal facrifices never could procure a proper and real atone- 
ment : And yet I think it is. as dear, that they were typical of 
ChrilVs facrifice, which was in every refpeft adequate to anfwer 
this important end. That thofe faccificos were entirely inluffi- 
cicnt for falvation, Ihave juft now proven; and that an infi- 
nitely wife God never intended them for any fuch an end. 
But at the fame time I think itis evident, that God never 
would have promulgated this ceconomy, and with fiich folem- 
hity enforced its observation; but for fome weighty, and me- 
morable caufe, viz. to prefignify thofe good things which were 
to be acquired by the incarnation, life, death, refuiTe&ion , and 
intercelfion of our Lord Jefus Chrift. The law was only the 
(hadow of good things to come.— ^-Chrift. is the fubftance; it 
was a figure for the time prefent; % a worldly fan&uary ; . pat- . 
terns of things in the Heavens. As I told you already, in as far 
as thofe facrifices were appendages of the moral law-, they con- 
ftantly accufed the offerers of guilt, and depicted their miferablc 
and helplefs ftatc ; in as fer as they were fubfervient to the co- 
venant of grace, they propofed to their confederation the true 
atonement x and fymWicaHy reprefemed the remedy to be pro- 
cured by ChrifVs once offering up of himself, in the fume fs of 
time. C^nfidered in themfclves^ and as appendages of the mo- 
ral law, they never could make an atonement, -neither could 
God be pleafed with them in this refne& ; but confidered as fub- 
fervient to, and conjoined with the covenant of grace made with 
Chrift; pardon and remiflion is oftentimes attributed to them in 

Unffimuf, juft as I had finifhed the lafl feutence, my friend 
Snperbus made his appearance, and reminded me. of my promife 
of favouring him with the reading or my letters to you. I ac- 
knowledged the prqmiffory obligation ; accordingly * read over 
to him whai 1 fend you. He raifed objections to feveral pans 
of it : But being afraid fhat the length of this might weary you* 
I poftpone his objections, and my anfwers for the prefent, and 
conclude, afTuring my dear Oneftmus of that unremitting affecti- 
on, and moft fincere regard which at all times, and on all occa- 
iioiu dwells in the breaft of his fincere friend 


% Heb. i*. 9. 


Let. n. ( 23 2 ) 



Dear Onefimus, 

"yOU may remember that in my laft, I promifed to give you 
* a particular account of the objections which Superbus raifed 
againfl what I had advanced on the fubjeel: of the Lcvitical fa* 
crifices. Superbus as far as I recollect addreifed me in the foU 
lowing terms.*^-" I cannot conceive Philemon, how you can 
" defend your point, in maintaining that the legal Tacrifices 
f € were offered up in favour of great tranfgrefTors: If this waY ' 
" the cafe, how can you, or any one elfc, underfland this plain 
" affertion of the infpired Apoftle of the Gentiles: Hcb, ix 7. 
< c But into the fecond, went the High Pried alone once every 
<c year, not without blood, which he offered for himfelf, ano 
tc for the errors of the people. Now' Philemon, the word here 
*' ufed by the Apoftle, and by which the efficacy of thofe facrirl- 
iC ces is confined, is ufed by Mofcs on the fame occafion ; Numb. 
" xv. 25. And the Pricft (hall make an atonement for all the 
" congregation of (frael, and it (hail be forgiven them; for it is 
"ignorance: And they (hall bring their offering a facrificc 
(f made by fire unto the Lord, and their fin-offering before the 
'" Lord for their ignorance. Here is then the fame truth taught 
< ( in the fame words, by an infpircd Hiftorian, and an Apoftic" 
Superbus, I would have you carefully to notice, that the term 
ignorance Here ufed by thofc infpired penmen, may with the great* * 
eft propriety be referred almoft to every fpecies of fin: What fin 
is there cxiftmg, but there is ignorance and error in it. Yea, I 
imagine from this fource fprings every moral tranfgrefiion. 
The will of man can never choofe evil as fuch^to commit ini- 
quity, for the fake of iniquity, would be bad enoiigh for the De^ 
vji himfdf; to choofe evil, under the appearaneeof good, (which 
is oftentimes done,) is the moft egregious folly. The wiH of 
man never yields to fin, without firft an error in the undemand- 
ing: And this doth not defiroy the diftinQiort between fins of 
ignorance, and fins of malice, which arc committed contrary to 
knowledge and confcicncc. As there 'is a twofold knowledge, 

Let. ii. ( 133 ) 

f© is there a twofold ignorance; fpecukuive, and practical. 
They who fin out of ignorance* properly Jp.^king, are luppofed 
to be deftitute both of this ipeculative and practical knowledge. 
They who fin againft li^ht and confeience are luch, who fp*;cu- 
latively know their Matter's will, but practically, they know not 
how to do it. Tic highway-man cannot but know, that it is a 
moral tranfgrefiion to attack the traveller and rob him of his 
purfe ; hut be. wants that practical knowledge of the evil of fin, 
which can only divert him frrra his prefent villainous conduct; 
at the fame time, the crime is committed under the fpecious ap- 
pearance of prefent good. 

.Obiervc Superbut, the uniform language of the holy Scriptures 
*m this head, Pfal. xiv. 1. There is none that undenlandeth: 
Eph. v. 8. Ye were fometimes darknefs, Eph. iv. 18. Hav- 
ing the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of 
GocJ, through the ignorance that is in them; b_ecaufe 01 the 
blindnefs of their heart. Was not the death of Chrift by the 
hands of the wicked Jews, one of the moil atrocious and wjeked 
actions everthe fun beheld ? And yet this was partly a work of 
ignorance. Acts iii. 17. And now brethren, (fays Peter) I 
wot that through ignorance ye did it, as did alfo your fathers. 
I Cor. ii. 8. If the princes of this world had known, they 
wquld not have crucified the Lord of glory. But why need I 
fpend fo much time in anfwering your objection ? It is exprefly 
done to my hand, and that by God himfelf, Levit. xvi. And 
the Pried (ball con fds over him, (viz. the live goat) all the fins. 
iniquities, and tranJgreifcons of the lvoufe ofllrael. Now after 
all, can you, or any one elfc, be lb bold as to affix this idea to 
tho/e words, that in all this confeflion nothing was meant, but 

only fins of ignorance, and infirmity. Moreover Sup?rbus, I 

would imagine that the Apoftle in the aforecited text, (] may be 
underftood as teaching us this imporrant lefTon ; that thole fin* 
which may feem to be but trifling in our apprehenfion, and of no 
great coniequence, would be of themielves fufficient to condemn 
the (inner, if there was no atonement to be made for them. If 
iins of ignorance and infirmity cannot be forgiven without fa- 
tisfadion made by blood (bedding, far lefs for fins again ft light 
and confeience: And that no fin whether lefler or greater can 
poflibly be forglvtm any other way, the Apoille utterly denies. 
*' Without fhedding of blood, there is no ^emiu , ion. ,, That 
there were facrifices offered up for fins of ignorance and infir- 
mity., is evident from Numb. xv. 25. but that there were none 
inftltutcd^ or admitted under the ceremonial law, but for fins of 
fuch a fpcrification I utterly deny. 

" Philemon, 
H Heb. ix. 7. 

Let. n. ( '234 ) 

M Philemon, I am not yet Satisfied on this bead". I find from 
M a variety of other places of holy writ, that wilful offenders 
f t were immediately punifhed without any expiation of tneir 
*1 crime by facrifice. I will confirm this aflTertion both from the 
" Old and New Teftament. Taking up the bible, he read 
" Numb. xv. 30. But the foul that doth ought prefumjv 
tc tuoufly, (whether he be born in the land, or 3 ftranger,) 
" the fame reproacheth the Lord; and that foul (hall be cut oft 
" from among his people; v. 31. Becaufe he hath defpifed the 
44 word of the Lord, and hath broken his commandment, that 
44 foul mall utterly be cut off: His iniquity {hall be upon him. 
44 Mud you not acknowledge that for murder, adultery, and 
" other grievous crimes there were no Sacrifices infUtuted t nqr 
•f admitted in the room of the offender ? Muft you not own, 
"that David fpoke the truth, when he affertsthat for his fin olf 
44 murder and adultery, God required no facrifice I EJfe, (fay* 
44 he) would I give it thee, f But I have the New, as welT 4* 
44 the Old Teftament on my fide, in order to convince yoij of 
" .this. I fliall read you a pofitive affertion of an infallible Apof- 
" tie on this head; Heb. x. ?6. For if we fin wilfully ^ after 
" that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there re;-' 
*' maineth no more facrifice for fin : v. 27. But a fearful 
*• looking for of judgment , and fiery indignation, which ftb$ 
", devour the adversaries. Now Philemon, if what you mairt- 
JM tain is true, what can the Spirit of God mean in thefe forego- 
" ing texts ? Muft you not own that at firft view it would feem, 
** that expiation for wilrul tranfgreflbrs was not allowed of? 
" That David's fins were pardoned I think it beyond all difpate, 
**i that they were not expiated by facrifice needs no proof. \ 

Super.bvs 9 -that there were fome fins for which there were no fa- 
crifices inftituted I granted you already; fuch as murder, adul r 
tery. Idolatry, &c. not, becaufe Sacrifices could not be inftituted 
for thefe, as well as other crimes; for this reafon thefe fins were 
pot, beyqnd the reach of God's pardoning mercy through Jefus 
r the jjropitiation. That Sacrifices then, were not allowed of in 
the cafe of fuch, was entirely owing to the Sovereign good wilj 
^nd pleafure of the jewifh legiflator; thefe were pronounced by 
"him capital breaches of his law: And fuch offenders thus capi- 
tally punifhed, their death became a certain public expiation. 
Neither was there any reafon to inftitute facrifices which pertain- 
ed to tbc fhjh, for thofe who, for their 'offences were doomed to 
death- Thefe Levitical Sacrifices were oftentimes admitted* 
that the offender being ceremonially purged froi» hfe fin, might 
he reccjvtd again into the communion of the church, from 

which, • 

Let. it. ( 235 ) 

which, for his crime he was cut off. But for fuch, whnfe offence 
laid them obnoxious to be cut off, there was no neccHity ro offer 
up a facrifice for their introduction again into the fellowship <*f 
the church. — I do not deny Sup<rbus, but that there is a very 
great difference between fins of infirmity, and ignorance, and 
fins committed with a high and uplifted hand; and that for the 
former, Sacrifices were admitted, but not for the fatter : But it 
wil! not trom hence follow, that for all grievous and voluntary 
offences no facrifices were admitted; the contrary of this, you 
know I have already proven., To fin prefumptuoufly, or with 
an high and uplifted hand, I imagine fignifies to fin out of ma- 
lice and contempt; and from a wilful obftinacy to boaft of, and 
glory in it. Such a mode of finning excludes all hope cf recon- 
ciliation between God, and the finner. The man that was 
found gathering fticks on the fabbath-day, his offence would feem 
not to be among the greateft, in its nature; but if there were 
thefe adjuncts attending it, malice and contempt, together with 
a wilful obftinacy and rebellion againft the immediate authority 
of Heaven interpofed in the command to keep the (abbath-day> 
Thefe were aggravations in the man's fin which would make it 
reach the very Heavens. If a man through forgetfulnefs had 
gone forth and thus violated the command in polluting the fab- 
bath, and upon conviction of the immorality of the action, had 
confeffed his fin, and turned penitent, I foppofe a facrifice for 
atonement might have been admitted, and thus have prevent- 
ed his being ftoned to death. || That text which you cited, 
Heb. x. 26. will by no means prove your point- The Apoftle 
by no means affirms that there is no facrifice for wilful tranigref- 
fors; and for this plain reafon, becaufe in this cafe, there couW 
be no atonement made, nor no pardon expected at the hand of 
God by any finner; becaufe there is no actual fin property 
fpeakine: hut what is in a certain degree zyluntary. Sin is an a& 
o{ the mind and will ; and the will you know cannot be forced. 
It is fo far voluntary therefore, that no one can fin but by a cer- 
tain motion of the will. The Apoftle in the aforecited text, I 


H The blafphemer, and fabbath-breaker underwent the fanie punifli- 
went. The fame law for hoth was, to ftone them to death. How 
M" muft the fabbath bej it is the Lord's Jay M My holy day." ft 
is bard to conceive, how men can carry oa their merchandising, buy 
and fell} caft: up their accounts ; pay their debis j indulge themlelv*} 
in wantonly fpending that day in 6ndin<r their own pkafure on that 
day ; and yet plead not guilty ; and cajole themfelyes in this delu- 
five imagination} that God will overlook them, and not hold them 
guilty. I know not a mor,e fure token of a gracelefs irreligious man, 
than to caft offal) reverence iot that holy day. 

Let. it. ( 236 ) 

apprehend fpeaks of that fort of fin, which with the full con«V ,t 
of the will, has the moil inveterate malice joined with it. VVc 
find fome of the grcateft Saints finning wilfully, who yet ob- 
tained pardon. David was wilfully guilty of adultery, and 
murder; Peter of denying his Lord and Matter; and yet wc 
cannot, we dare not fay, that thefe men finned wrth a h'tch 
hand. In their {in, there was more of Satan's malice a^ainll 
them, than of their*s againft God. There is a very great diffe- 
rence between fin reigning, and (in prevailing: The latter is 
oftentimes found in the bed of God's Saints; " when they wou^d 
do good evil isprefent with them.'' This is their habitual grief, 
their conftant burden. O wretched man that lam, who fh all 
deliver me from the body of this death. + In the unregeneratc it 
is not every kind of reigning fin that excludes the merit and effi- 
cacy of Chrift's death and facrifice; but that fin, which is more 
immediately, and dirc&ly pointed againfl the truth, and that 
truth known, or at leaft might, and fhould be known. Know- 
ledge and malice conftitute the fin the Apoftlc here fpeaks of; 
Knowledge in the head, aud malice in the' heart: Or to (peak 
more fully, and more after the apoftolic dialect, it confifts in thefe 
three things ; Trampling the blood of the Son or God under foot ; 
counting it an unholy thing, and doing defpite to the Spirit or 
grace. The firftof thefe has a reference to the perfon aid oihets 
of Chrifi; the two lad to thefe two great benefits which are the 
native refult of his death, juftification, and fan&ificatim ; t*ic 
former Mowing from his merit, the other from hisfpirit. The fin 
I apprehend that the Apofile has his eye on here, confifts in 4 
total defection from the truth; and that joined with a malicious 
imppgning of it, after knowing it, and openly profiling it. 

Permit me to obfervc here Superbus, that a man may deny 
Chnft through ign^r^nce and error, who never knew him,- and 
pcrfecute him in his member* with the rhoft unrelenting fury, 
and yet not be guilty of this fin, for which there vs no more fa- 
crifice- This did Paul before his converfion; but he did all 
through ignorance. || Again, a man may be guilty of denying 
Chrift through weakneiVand fear, and yet nor he guilty of this 
fin. This did Peter, and many who were brought to the-ftakc 
for the Caufe of Jefus, and- recanted. Again, a man may deny 
Jefus, when "neither ignorance, or fear of lofing- his- life i* the 
moving caufe; but from a lutlfui defir6 of becoming rich arid re- 
nowned in the world. For infbmce, for a chriftian to renounce 
chrjftianity, and embrace the Alcoran upon prbvifion of His Dye- 
ing advanced to the highciVpoft in the Tcrkifh "Empire. "This 
would be a far greater fin, than either the fin of Paul, er Peter 

Thi : 


t Rom. iii. 24. 1 Tiui. i. 13. 

This would be very nearly approaching to the fill here mention* 
ed by the Apotiic: And I prefume, that fuch a man would be 
on the very verge of deftruSion ; and God in a way of righte- 
ous judgment might punifh this fin, by fufTcring the Apellate to 
go all the length in finning that the Apoftle here mentions: To 
join~m*iice and hatred to his recantation of chriftianity, and this 
would complete his ruin. There would remain no more facri- 
fice for fuch a prefumpfuous tinner. What way can he obtain 
ptrdon, that wilfully, and mal.cioufly rejects the only remedy, 
the facrifice oi Chrilt. for the expiation of .fin ? This is account-* 
ing the blood of the Covenant an unholv thing, or a common 
thinsr, not fufficient to anfwer the ends of redeeming finnefs 10 
God, according to the divine ordination and appointment. Along 
with this, there is pined in the fin the ApoitJe here fpeaks of, 
a contempt of the fpir it of God. " Doing defpite to the fpirit 
of grace;" the Holy Ghoft, the third perfon jn the ever blefTed 
Tr#nky, which is fent by the Father and the Son, to apply the 
purchafed redemption. This renders the falvation of 1'uch iVa 
man impofiible. !i All manner of iin and blafphemy mall ic 
forgiven men," i. e. there remains a facrifice for thefe. Faith 
and repentance may yet open a door for an intereft in the death 
of Jeius j " But the blafphemy againftthe Holy Ghoft inall ne- 
ver ^e torgiv en, neither in this, or the world to come." If a 
man fin againft the. Father , Chrift Is the intcrcefior to plead bis 
cau'c ; if a man fin againft Jrf*** there remains the third perfon 
to intercede in his behalf* but doing delpite to this divine agent, 
there is oot another to operate on the foul for the production of 
thole graces which arc abfolutely neccflary to intercft in the 
atonement of Jcfus. 

l< Pardon me Philemon for troubling you at this rate ; l wifti 
" to have my mind fatisficd, and my judgment informed-in 
'* every particular in which the falvation of my foul, and the 
." glory of God is concerned. You aflerted, that the Levitical 
" facrUiccs were infufficient to expiate fin, or make an atone- 
" ment for the tranfgreuor. Now if this be true, might netjf, 
** or any one elfe with propriety, argue the infuffxiency of 
% -l ChrmVs facrifice for this purpofe \ I prove the connaion thus ; 
" becaufe the ihadow muil bear a rcJcmblancc to the :u k . ranee; 
H the type, to the antitype. Now that the antitype might cor- 
ff refpond with the type, falvation can no more be ex peeled 
,f from the facrifice, and death of J.efus, than from thofc offered 
" up under the legal difpenfation. e. g. The -brazen ierpeut 
** wa* a figure ofChriillifted up upon the crofs, and all that was 
*' fequifite for healing t}ic ltung ifraclitcs, confided in fimply 
w looking to ;hc ferpent of brafs; all therefore i would imagine, 

" that 

L*t n. ( S3 8 ) 

M that i&fleefffafy for Our falvation lies in {imply believing that 
4i Chrifl died, rofe again, and afcended ap into Heaven, there 
* - to make mccrccflion, and not as you maintain, from any in- 
" herent virrilc and efficacy in C brill's death to procure pardon, 
•« and turn away God's wrath ; consequently I infer that hi* 
•' death was not a proper, and rcul Satisfaction for fin. " - ■ >Su* 
pr-rbusy your reasoning on this head is eafiry overturned, if you 
remember the diftin&ion I made of a ceremonial, and typical 
expiation. I readily acknowledge that there irtuft he fomcthing 
in the lliadow analogous to the body, in the type, to the antitype; 
other'wife it could he no type: But it is fufficient, that there be 
fuch an analogy, and (imilitude, as in a certain degree to warrant 
the relation between the type, and antitype. A perfect agiec- 
ment and correfpondence in every thing, would dire&ly defrroy 
the relation. That the brafcen fcrpent was an eminent type of 
Chrift, is an undoubted truth, if our Lord's words arc to be cre- 
dited, John iii. 14. That there was a very great difference 
between the type, and antitype, is evident. Looking to the one, 
was the mean appointed by God for healing the body, and faving 
from death; looking to theothcrfor healing the foul, and faving 
from dcftru&ion. The one refpe&cd the natural, the other the 
Spiritual life of the {inner. The efficacy of the type depended 
folely on the ordination and appointment of God; the ertfeacy 
or the antitype, on its real intrinfic worth and value. You fur- 
ther oblerved Saptrbur, that the legal Sacrifices expiated fin, not 
from any virtue in them, but from the faith of the offerer. That 
they did not* neither could expiate fin, or make an atonement 
for the finner* cortfidercd in thcmfelves, is true; that they did 
not typically make an atonement, is falle. What is the reafon 
S"p:rbus> that ertpiation and atonement is conftantly afcribed to 
thefe Sacrifices ? Mull you not acknowledge, that the great and 
comprehensive blefling, pardon, is referred to thofe, and not to 
the faith of the offerer? Faith mud have Some objecx. What 
was the faith of thofe Old Teftament believers } Did it con* 
lift in this, that the blood of bullocks, goats, and the allies of ' 
an heifer could cleanfe them from their moral pollution ? If this 
was the efTence of their belief, J think, you muft conclude with 
me that their faith was not of a faving nature. In a word, the 
taith of thofe ancient believers was for fubflance, the very fame 
with our's who live under a better and more glorious difpenfati- 
on of the covenant of grace. They believed that there was l* 
time coming when the Mefliah ihould make his appearance on 
the theatre of this world, fufrcr and die, really and actually try 
put away fin by the Sacrifice of himfelf, of which theirs were but 
faint tnadows, and impcrfe& refcmblance*. In fine, Chrri* , « fa- 


Let. ii. ( 239 ) 

crifice is the fole meritorious caufe of pardon, and every other 
fpiritusl blefling conferred on all believers, in every period of the 
world, and difpenfation of the covenant. Faith is only the in- 
ftrumental cau'e that interefts the (inner in, and puts him in 
actual pofleffion of the atonement and merit of Jcfus. We have 
redemption, (fays the Apoftle) How ? Doth he afcribe it to any 
work of the creature ? Are we redeemed becaufc we do the 
bell we can toobferve the moral law ? Are we redeemed becaufe 
we have repented of our former wicked courfe of life ? This ho- 
ly man of God cuts off all thefe as the meritorious caufe, and 
(huts us up to this one thing, the blood of Jefus. We have re- 
demption through his blood, even the forgivenefs of fins. 

Superbtts being haftily called away, opens a door tor your friend 
to refuine the argument in proving the fatisfa&ion and atone- 
ment of Chrift, to be a proper and real fatisfa6tk>n and atonement 
to the law and juftice of God for procuring pardon, reconciliati- 
on, and confummate falvation. To this, and this alone, as the 
meritorious caufe is the all of our falvation owing. I fhall then 
conclude the whole, by (bowing you thefeabfurdities wrnch muft 
neceflarily follow upon aicribing our redemption and falvation 
to the doctrines which Chrift taught, and the example lie exhi- 
bited, without having recourfe to his death, as a real and propi- 
tiatory factifice, not as merely exemplary, but properly fatis- 
te6bory ; not to confirm his doctrine en/j 9 but to turn away God's 
writh from finners by dying in thsir ftead. 

i ft If he died only to exhibit to the worid an example of pati- 
ence and refignation, and to confirm the doctrines which he 
tso^ht without regarding his death as meritorious for acquiring 
pardon and reconciliation; will it not then follow, that the Mar- 
tyrs were not behind the Saviour in their death > .Did not they 
fell the truth of what they taught with their blood ? Did they 
not afford the moil mining and eminent example of patience, 
cfear-ky, obedience,, faith, and other chriilitn virtues ? But where 
is jit ever tau^nt os, or in the rem&teft degree hinted that they 
died for us ? Where Is it recorded that the blood of the msil emi- 
nent Martyr that evtr fufiered, clcanfeth from all fin, or recon- 
ciles us to God ? But thefe precious and invaluable -hlernngs-are 
erttf ■where in the facred -Scriptures ex prefly attributed toCtinftV 
death> a* I have already naticecL Why 'QttefpHus, if there wa* 
nothing peculiar in Chrfft'fc dcatfamore than in the death of the 
Martyrs ; or if the principal intendment of it was only to confirm 
his do&ritie, or exhibit an example to the world ; why do the 
Scriptarw conftantlyy and e*ery where attribute more to it, and 
P*fc ©tit thefc thing* *teno& in ptcrtbuni fifenccr* 

2d If 


Let. ii. ( 240 ) 

2d If Chrift's death was intended for no other end than mere- 
ly to confirm his do&rine, may not the fame effect he afcribed to 
the life he led, and the miracles which he wrought, with as much 
propriety, if not more, than to his death on the crofs ? Did he 
iKrt exhibit a moft ftriking teftimony in thefe, of holinefs, con- 
stancy, fairh, and love, and every other fhining virtue which 
adorned the perfon, and character of our Lord Jefus Chrift ? But 
Oneftm'ts, neither to the miracles which he wrought, nor the ex- 
emplary holinefs of his obediential life only, is remiflion of fins 
and eternal redemption afcribed, hut to his death and fufFcrin :s. 
Wherever mention is made of pardon, Chrift's death is taken 
notice of as the meritorious canfe almoft throughout the whole 
New Teftamcnt. Hence the preaching of the gofpel is empha- 
tically termed, the preaching of the crofs. 1 Cor. i. 10. And 
we are faid to be bapti^d into ChritVs death. Kom. vi. 3. The 
euchanft is laid to be a memorial of his death, t Cor. xi. 28. 
And the cup in the Lord's tapper, is exprefsly called the cup of 
the New Teftamcnt : This cup is the New Tcllamcnt in my 
Wood, (bed for the remiflion or fins, Luke xxii. 20. But why 
all this ado about Chrift's death, if there was not fome caufality 
in it for the impetration of pardon, peace, and reconciliation. 

3d If by CrH-ilYs death no benefit accrues to us than what is 
merely exemplary, or for our imitation, then there can be no 
tach a thing as the righteoufnefs of Chrift, which confitls not on- 
ly in the obedience of his life, but in his bloody tafferingson the 
accurfed tree. But if therebe no tach a thing, why is it fo often 
mentioned in Scripture r Why is Jefus exprefsly called "Jeho- 
vah our righteoufnefs ?" Or why faid to be " made of God un- 
ro us righteoufnefs ?" Why doth the Apoftle Paul glory in it as 
rhefole ground of his acceptance with the Almighty ? \\ I know 
not, neither can I learn from the whole of divine revelation any 
other footing upon which a finner '{bind? juftified before God, 
hut the righteoufnefs of Emmanuel. This my dear Onejimus, is 
the fource of all cur confolation, the flay and fupport of our 
fouls: Clothed with this we ftand fafc againft all the accufations 
of Satan, and the curfe of a broken law. Rom. iv. 7, 8. To 
maintain that all the benefit we receive from the death of Chrift 
n owing to its exemplary nature, and that the righteoufnefs 
whereby a believer (lands juftified in God's fight, confifts in hi* 
faith and moral obedience; and that thefc are imputed to him as 
the ground of his j unification : What, is this, but an overturning 
of the whole evangelical fyftem ? If we are juftified by any work 
of the creature-,' how can we vindicate the Apoftlc Paul /or round- 
ly celling us that " by the deeds of the law, no flcih living can 

II Phillip, iii. 5, 6, 7, 8. 

Let. ii. ( 241 ) 

be justified • ?" Is not that man of God worthy of our higheft re- 
probation, for counting, all his moral obedience, in point of jufti- 
fication before God, but lofs and dung, that he misrht win Chrift, 
and be found in him, not having his own righteoufnefs, which is 
of the law; but that which is through the faith of Chrifr, the 
righteoufne lV > which is of God bv faith, || and teaching others lb 
to do ? If j unification proceeds from any other fource, or is claimed 
upon any other footing, than the furety righteoufne's of the Me- 
diator; this infpired penman has led thoufands aftray to their 
utter ruin? What more unaccountable, than to confound the 
law, and the gcfpel, the covenant of works, with the covenant 
of grace : But this they do, who place a (inner's juftific-.tion 
upon the footing of human obedience, and not upon the footing 
of ,Chrift's fatisfa&ion and atonement. 

4th This abfurdity will follow, that if by ChrifVs death there 
is no real, and proper fati^faction made to the law and juftice of 
God in the room of the finner, then all thofe places of Scripture 
.which fpeak of our redemption and falvation, of reiniflion of (ins 
by bis blood, of God's making hirn a propitiation for our (ins, of 
his being our furety, &c muft be underftood in a figurative, 
and metaphorical fenfe. But is it not ftrange Oneftmus, that it 
ever could have entered into the heart of any man, or feet of 
men, that thefe precious truths, delivered by the inlpiration of 
the Holy Ghoft, in fuch explicit terms, yet muft be underftood 
figuratively, and metaphorically ? What warrant have any in 
all the word of God, for fuch an explication ? Did ever the an- 
cient Jews, or any of the heathen nations explain their propitia- 
tory facrifices, in the manner Socinians do thefacrifice of Chrift ? 
The notion the former enteitained of their facrifices I propofc 
fhortly to ihow you. In the mean time Oneftmus, w« ; uld not 
you think ir ftrange, that in an article of fuch importance and 
moment, and in the belief of which our eternal falvation depends, 
that the fpir'rt of God mould have left it enveloped in fo much 
darknefs t Yea, wcuki it not have been receflary, to hate fo 
certainly defined the matter that he that runs might read it ? 
But I aver Gncfimus> that there is noart cle of our holy religion, 
fo often repeated,, and in fuch explicit terms exprefTcd, as the 
.merit .and atonement of jefus and its imputation to us as our 
jujtifying rightsGiifnefs before God. 

5th This abfurdity will follow, either the divefting Jcfus of 
his facerdotal office altogether; or confounding it with his pro- 
phetkaKahd> kingly offices: And that whether wc view hi*obla- 

Phillip. iii. 


R " 

J-et. M. ( 242 ) 

tjonoti the crofs, orhi< intcrceffion in glory, which comprehends 
the two principal ads of his prieftly office. With regard to his 
death on the crofs, if the principal intendment of that was the 
confirmation of his doctrine, who can fay, but he died as a pro- 
phet and teacher, and not as a prieft ; and with regard to his in- 
terceiuon in glory, this is entirely fubverted, for this reafon, be- 
caufe the ground upon which his intcrcefiion in his glorified 
date proceeds, and is founded, is upon the virtue and efficacy of 
bis oblation here on earth. This was plainly adumbrated, and 
pointed out by the conduct: of the legal High Prieft; fuft l'acri- 
ficing the victim, and then entering in within the vail with its 
blood, to make interceflion for tranfgreffors. Thefe three 
offices of prophet, prieft, and king, to the execution of which 
Chrift was anointed, and folcmnly inverted,, have entirely dif- 
tmct objects in their execution. As a prophet he teaches by his 
heavenly doctrine ; as a pried he atones for our guilt, by his fa- 
crifice on the crofs; as a king he rules and governs the faithful, 
fubdues their foes, protects them by his power, conduces them 
with his coimfel, and at lad brings them to his glory. I may 
here obferve Onefimus, we will find in fome fingle actions of Je- 
fns all thefe offices conjoined, e. g. In his death he acted as a 
pried, in rdpect of God; as a king in refpect of Satan; as pro- 
phet, pneil, and king with regard to us. As a prophet, he fet 
before the wo Id the mod: admirable example of love, conftancy, 
patience, and refignation; as a prieft by purging away our fins 
hy the merit of his faenfice; as a king, by glorioufly triumphing 
overall his, and our enemies, fin, Satan, death, and hell. Now 
although he died properly as a prieft, (for his death was a facri- 
nce) neverthelefs, we will find him in a certain degree execut- 
ing the ofrces of prophet, and king: But from thence it will not 
follow, that thefe offices are confounded, the one with the other ; 
no, in h ( s dtath they remain perfectly and entirely diftincf. 
e fame thing may be faid with regard to his interceflion : He 
lives in glory as a prieft to preient the merit and virtue of hrs 
iacrincc on the crofs ; he is there as our king, to fee to the ef- 
fectual application of the fruits of his death to all believers; to 
ice to the implantation, and preicnation of all faving graces in 
hearts pi his people; he appears there a.^ our prophet, to lead 
his people into all truth, by lending the Holy Ghoft, .the tpirlt 
ofwifdom and revelation, to teach and inftruct them in the 
rnvftenea of the kingdom, in the know ledge of th'oie tiuths which 
areabfolntcfy neccflary to be knotyn in order to eternal faivation. 
Laftly, this abfurdity will ncccfiarily follow, that all thefe who 
lived prior to the maniieftaiion of Jcfus in the flcib, behoved to 
perifh; for this rcaion, his heavenly dectrine never founded in 


Let. ii. ( 243 ) 

their ears, his holy example was never preferred before their 
eyes: Or, if -they were faved, I won Id a (k how ? Was there one 
door for them, and another for us ? Or were they faved by any 
vktue or efncacv in their facrifices ? The contrary of this I have 
already -proven : Or were -they faved by thmr moral obedi- 
ence:' This the Apoftle flatly denies, Gal. ii. 16. Knowing 
that a man is not juftified by the works of the law, (any man in- 
definitely, whether high or low, rich or poor, Jew or Gentile; 
whether living under rhe mofaic, or chnftian difpenfation) by 
anv endeavour of h s, bv the merit of any good work he is capa- 
ble of performing. !! What way then were thole Old Teftament 
Saints faved ? I anfwer, by the preaching of the gofpel, which 
brought to thtfir ears thefe g!ad tidings, that in the tulneis or 
time the Son of God fhould come, and by his death put an end 
to fin, and brins: in an evefteftlnfg right eou-fnefs. By the gofpei, 
do you repiv, this is fomething odd; to hear of the gofpel under 
the law. It is a dodrine that will indeed founa I v in the 

ears of fuch as impugn the neceffitv of ChrirVs d«th as a propi- 
tiatory facrifice. But what if it be true, that the gefpe! was 
preached to them, as well as to us ? That this was really the 
cafe, the Apoftle Paul puts it beyond all controvert*}- ; Heb. iv. 
2. For unto us was the gofpel preached, as tfell as unto them. 
Do vou a(k what is the goioel ? According to the fpeculative 
opinion, and practical converfation of many in the chriftian world, 
it is this; the glad newo of life and fa! vat ion to all men, accor- 
ding to their mora! conduct and behaviour; and to fave appear- 
ances, and make the def.n :ion run a little mere fmdotfij and 
give it a little of an evangelical tindure, fome w:ll add through 
Jefus Cbrijl. But through Jefus C rijf , and yet deny his divini- 
ty, and the -propitiatory nature of his death', is a doctrine per- 
fectly unintelligible to me, becaufe it has no fan&ion in the 
Scriptures of truth. But On-fimus, permit me to give you a de- 
finition of the goVpjtl from the mouth of an Angel, Luke ii- 10. 
Behold I bring you good tidings of great joy, which fha-1 be to 
all-peeple; v. u. tor unto you 45 born in the citv of David a 
Saviour which is Cbfift the Lord. This then is- the-fo'.pd; the 
proclamation of pardon and remiilicn, of eternal faLvation from 
fin and wrath, through the Lord Jefus Chrift, as crucified and 
(lain. Doth not the Apoftle plainly teach us, that' Jefus was the 
Lamb flain from the foundation ef the world ? Through the 
virtue and value of his atoning facrifice, which in the iulnefs of 
lime was to be prefen^ed to God, all the Old Teftament Saints 

Gal. iii. io, II, Rom. iii. 27, i3. 

R a 

Let. ii. ( 244 ) 

were received up into glory, and made perfectly happy in the full 
enjoyment of God. " Jcfus Chrift is the fame, yefterday, 
to day, and for ever." 

You aflc in yours Oneftmus, what was the opinion of the anci- 
ent fathers, and of the jews themielves, refpe&ing the Levitical 
facrificcs; and of the heathen world in regard to thofe Sacrifices 
which obtained among them. I (hall give you their fentiments 
from a very learned Author, extracted from the different Authors 
who wrote on this Subject: J And we will find in the iffue, 
that it was the joint opinion, and conftant belief, that wherever 
piacular Sacrifices took place, that they were ftill offered up in 
the room of the guilty perfon, or in other words, that they weft 
of a vicarious nature. 

Or/gen, from the impofition of hands upon the head of the 
victim, concludes, that this was emblematical of the fins of man- 
kind laid upon Chrifr. who is the head of the body, the church. || 

Tbeodoret, Qucit. I. ad Levit. entertained the fame opinion : 
Whoever, lays he, offered a Sacrifice, put his hands on the head 
of the victim; intimating thereby the translation of his actions 
upon the devoted animal ; the hands, (fays he) lignify the a&i- 
pns, and for thefe was the victim ftain.-f- 

The fame AiVor, (Queft. 6\, ad Exod.) plainly acknow- 
ledges it as his belief, that the life of the victim was poured out 
in (lead of the life of the offerer. The Prieft, (fays he) did not 
mipofe his hands in the cafe of all Sacrifices, but for thofe which 
were offered up for fin : Symbolically reprefenting, that the facri- 
free was offered up in the room of the offerer. { 

He farther adds, feeing, (fays he) thou ait endued with an 
immortal foul; the blood of an irrational creature is given for 
thy foul. For this caufe it is ordered that the life, or the blood 


X Outram de Sucrif. Lib. i, chap, xxii. pag, 247, 248, 249, &c. 

I) Pofuit, inquit, & manum fuam fuper caput vitoH, hoc eft, peccata 
humani generis impofuit Super caput fuuni. Ipfe enim eft caput cor- 
poris eccleSse. 

t QuiSque viclimam offerer!* enpiti ejus manus fuas, tanquam fuas 
aetiones ipfius impofuit. Manus enim actiones Significant, pro his autem 
viclimam orFerebat. 

\ Non omnibus viftimis manus imponebant facerdotes, (ed illis, qurc 
pro fe oblntae Sunt, & precipue pro peccato factis. Ceteris autem offe- 
rentes ipfi manus imponebant, Hoc autem Symbolice indicabat hoftiarn 
in locum offerentis pro quo mactab-uur furTeclani effe. 

Let. ii. ( 245 ) 

of a creature wanting reafon, be offered up in the room of thy 
foul endued with reafon and immortality. J 

Eufebius of Caefarea entertained the fame opinion; that whoe- 
ver brought his offering to the Prieft, impofed his hands on its 
d; pointing out the offering up of the facriflce for his head: 
And that this was done in all the fin-offerings, from whence is 
underftood that the life of the victim was offered up inuxad of 
the offerer. || 

This was not the opinion of the ancient Fathers with regard 
rothofe facrifices which were offered up under the Mofaic difpen- 
fation only, but of thofe which were offered up by Abel, Noah, 
and Abraham. Thofe good men who enjoyed communion with 
God, enlightened by a certain divine afflatus; faw it neceffary 
that a remedy Ihould be provided by which their deadly fins 
mould be expiated; judged that fome propitiatory facrifice mould 
be offered up to God, the Author of their foul and life, to procure 
their falvation. Bnt feeing they had nothing better than their 
fouls, or nothing more precious to confecrate to God, they facri- 
ficed bcafts for their fouls; thus offering up the lives of others 
inftead of their own. f ■■ ;/. 

I come now to enquire into the opinion of the Jews concern- 
ing the immolation of their piacular victims, and this I (hall give 
you from the aforementioned Author. J 

R. Levi Ben Gerfon, from the impofition of hands by Aaron 
and his Sons en the head of the bullock, Exod. xxix. 10. makes 
this obfervation. The impofition of the hands had a reference 


X Sicutenim, inquit, tu immortal 1 arrima praeditus es; fie animal ra- 
tionis expers fanguinem habet, loco animae. Quam ob caufam 
praecipit, ut anima eju= ratione carens, hoc eft, fanguis, vice animse mar 
ratione prxditse, et imniorcalis offeratur. 

I! Quippequaequemque, qui facriricat vi&jmae fuae capiti manus im- 
ponere j ejufque caput manibus tenemem animal ad facerdotem addu- 
cere jubet quafi viciimam, pro capite fuo offerentem. Id quod in om- 
nibus hoftiii factum eft, nulla enim aliter oblata fuit. Unde inteiligttur 
victimarura animas animarum orferentium vice dacas efle. 

t Quando quidem enim viri pii, Deoque familiares & afflatu divino 
illuminati roagno fibi opus effe remedio viderenr, quo mortifere pec- 
cata expiarent; Deo vitae animae<jue datori lutron aliquod dandum judi- 
cabanr falutis impetrandae caufa, de quidem cum animabus fuis nihil 
melius, prcftantius, quod Deo confecrarenr, haberent, pro eis bef- 
vz* »nain<>Ubint, ita fcilicit animarum fuarum vice aninu* offere/ues. 
Ettfeb. de ckmonftr. Evang. Lib. 1, chap. x. 11. 

$ Pag. 251. 

Let. ii. ( 246 ) 

to this, that the fins of the offerer Height be underftaod to be re- 
moved and t rand-red to rhe animal. * 

The fame Author hnfs this obfervation. As often as a foul, 
(fays he) foall fir through imprudence, or ctherwife, he transfers 
nis fin from him'clfnnd layMt upon the head of the v,aim. And 
to this belong thefe confefiio'ns, I have finned, I have rebelled, 
I have aftcd pcrverfely, as appears from the confeflfions of the 
Hi.^h Prieft over th; hulfock in the da}- or his expiation- J 

But in cafe any one fhou'd doubt, that the Jews had no no- 
tion of a vicarious facrifice to take away fin ; thefe deprecatory 
expreffions which were always \i(cd m the conclunVri, will re- 
move every fcrupJe,-^-^— bite fit exfiatio mea, let this be my ex- 
J>ir.t?on, quad ego iffe mnlhth men//, id in viclimse m<<t caput 
reerJat. i. e. Whatever evil, or punifhment I have deferved, 
let it W\ on the head of my facrifice. 

R. Solomon Iarcbi explains the preceding formula, as the victim 
addreffed the offerer in thefe words. We are thv expiation; we 
ftand in thy room, whatever mould juflly fall on thee, let it alight 
on us. || 

Basal Arucb exprefTes the fame fentiment, as if the victim ad- 
drefTed the offerer thus. I am in his place, to bear his iniquities ; 
I am he by whom he may obtain pardon : I take his fins upon 
me. -f 

R. Mofes Ben Naehman ad Levit. I, exprefTes himfelfthus; 
it was jtift, (fays he) that his blood mould be poured out, and 
his body burned : The Creator out of love to thee, hath receiv- 
ed this vicarious vi&im at thy hand as a propitiation; that the 
blood of the victim fhould be poured out inflead of thy blood, 
and its life in (lead of thine. $ 


* Impofitio hstc manuum ambarum erat, eoque fpettabat, ut hinc in- 
telligererur removeri ab iis peccata ipforum, & ad hoc animal quo 
dammodo transferri. 

% Quoties quis anima fentiente imprudens, vcl quidem prudens, 
transtert a fe peccata fua, &c. 

II N os expiatio rua fimus, fimus nos in locum fuppofiti ; quod in tt 
merito recidere pofTet, illud omne in nos recidat. 

t Sim ipfe ejus in locum fuppofiri ut iniquitates ejus portem; ego 
ipfe, quo veniam confequaris in me peccata fufeipio. 

§ jEquum crat, ut fanguis ejus funderetur & ut cremaretur corpus 
fuum. Creator autem pro dementia fua hanc ab eo aecipit vidiman, 
ut rem vicariam, &c. 

Let. ii. ( .247 ) 

Ifasc Ben Arama express himfelf almost in the fame terms; 
the guilty perfon, (fays he) when he beholds the victim {lain, 
flay'd, cut in pieces, and burned with fire upon the altar; ought 
to conuder, that he deferved to he -tfcus treated, it God had not 
obt or mercy and companion accepted of a facrifice inftead of 

Yott fee -fhufmus, that it was th^univerfal and unanimous 
opinion of thefe Jews, that there was a transition of the g;uili of 
the offerer upon the head o^ the facrifice, pointed out by laying 
their hands on it? head; and that from the pouring out of the blood 

: e facrifice, and burning its item upon the alrar, they conclud- 
ed, that they fhould have been thus jullly deak with if it had 
not been owins^ to the mercy of God, wh ch accepted the ani- 
maf inftead of the citerer: And farther that their facrifices were 
not only of a vicarious, hut a propitiatory nature, making an 
atonement for their fouls. Indeed it is hard to conceive for 
what other end they were inftituted, or what other idea they 
couid entertain of them : And is it not equally difficult to con- 
ceive, for what other end Chrift was offered up in faenrice, than 
to make a true, and real atonement as our furety. The Son of 
man came not to he minitired unto, but to miniiterand to give 
his life a r or many. 

I might nor? proceed to inform \ou, and that from the 
fame of the opinion or" the heathen world refpecting 

the facrifices tthich obtained among them. When any thing 
difaft'OLiscirher Set. -1 them, <t war dreaded by them, it was ufual 
for them, to imprecate on the head of the devoted viclim, the evil, 
cv punifhrntnt either fell or feared. We wi'i find aho, that fuch 
as were engaged in the immolation of their facrifices were reputed 
unclean ; further that the lite of the victim wa* poured out in/had 
of theirs, Thefe fentiments^ as I already told you were the 
fame with thofe the jews entertained with refpej& to the Levitical 
facrifices, and adduced lever .1 infta'nees which I fliall not again 

fee OwfumiSj that the idea of an atonement made 
no novel doctrine ? Neither is it a lingular doc- 
trine. It was a part of the belief of all the enlightened Jews; 
heathen world, particularly in their immo- 
lation of human facrifices. W hy -Ihou'd it be thought ftrange ? 
Or rather, why (hould it in the leaft degree be dilputed, th»2t 
' r Offered up himfdf to God as a vicarious, 
and propitiatory facrifice ? Why Ihouid men zQ. a part fo dia- 

Reu- cum viclimam de peecato fuo ^molatam mactari, pelle ex- 
'^^eque ara? comburi vider, fecum ipfe cogitare debet ita 
fecum agi, & ira fe tra&ari oportutfTe, nifi Deus pro mificordia fua, pro 
nijiia eju.- piaculum. 

Let. IT. ( 248 ) 

metrically oppofite to their own interefl: ? Why mould they rob 
the Mediator of the glory, of having purchafed ihe church -with 
his own blood ? Alls, what are our bed fervices in the fight of 
an immaculate and pure Being, without being wafhed in the 
blood of the Lamb; ra;s, and filthy rags, lofs, and dung. I 
am fure my dear friend, k is far, very far, from being a part of 
your creed, to vilify the perfon, and depreciate the merit of 

The beloved Apoftlc obtains in a virion, a mod glorious en- 
rapturing fight ; a great number, which no man can number, 
(landing before the throne of God and the Lamb. But how 
(land they there ? How can that holy city, that glorious throne; 
and more glorious Being that fits there admit of dufr. and allies, 
and thefc polluted ? How came they there ? They ivajbed their 
robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Are you an- 
ticipating that blefTed, and happy period when you fhall obtain 
your ftation among that innumerable company ? Are you ftretch- 
ing forward with eagernefs, and looking with a holy impatience 
for that defirable event ? I would advifc you, in your way to 
thefe peaceful, and bleifed abodes, to keep your eye on Jefus. 
Trufl: in his alJ-fumcient merits; glory in him as Jehovah your 
rightcoufnefs. That my dear friend may obtain a place among 
thofe happy quirifters ; and join in that new, in that excellent 
and never-fading fong; H worthy is the Lamb that was flain 
and hath redeemed us to God by his blood," f is the moil un- 
feigned wi fn of 




Dear Onefimus, 

T Received yours; nothing can afford greater pleafure to my 
■•*■ foul, than to hear that your foul profpereth: May you habi- 
tually grow in grace, and in the love and knowledge of our 
Lord Jefus Chrift. You complain of the prevalence of fin in 


+ Worthy the Lamb that died they cry, 

To be exalted thus ; 
Worthy the Lamb our lips reply, 

For he was flain for us. 

Let. 1 5. ( C49 ) 

you; and who has not ground to take up the- r 3Ttr comp *■ 
. one of the mod ftcady believers, and one ot rhe moft mor- 
tified Saints, that perhaps any age ever produced, felt the 
law of (in working in his members that you fee), which ex r <vivd 
this grievous complaint from this (insular men of God: '« O 
wretched man 'hat I am, who fhall deliver me from this body of 
death." The fame gracious hand that fupported him in (he 
conflict, and made him ride triumphant overall the power of fhjc 
cnemv, will fupport you my dear Onefunus, and make you 
more than a conqueror. That was a notable exprtiTion of the 
Apcftlc, worth} to be had in everlafHn^ remembrance; worthy 
the imitation of every follower of Jefus: " Through Chrift 
ftrengthening me I can do all things." This moft noble con- 
feflion is but an echo to our Lord's exprefs declaration, " without 
me ye can do nothing." What a mortifying ftroke to human 
pride ! how does it lay all felf-gloriation in the duft: How dorh 
it exalt a flighted, a vilified Redeemer. All our fpiritual ftrength 
for work, or warfare, is lodged in him; and by faith's union to 
him muft be derived from him. O thou defpifed Jefus ! and 
yet by thee we can do all things; and without thee, we can do 
nothing. This brings to my remembrance the complaint of the 
evangelical Prophet on this head: He fhall grow up before hira 
as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: He hath 
no form norcomelinefs; and when we (hall fee him, there is no 
beauty that we fhould defire him. || Let us beware of reprobat- 
ing the Jews for their conduct, towards this benign and gracious 
Saviour; He meets with little, or no better treatment from us. 
Lately I faw this literally verified in a certain polite company, 
in which your friend was prcfent. I mud acknowledge to the 
honour of the company, that their conversation was by no means 
of the tr'.fling infipid kind; for my own part, I was highly en- 
tertained. Some gentlemen of a liberal education, and well 
verfed in ancient hiftory, gave univerfal fatisfaction on the fub- 
jech they fpoke upon. One followed the Macedonian hero ^ 
through ail his dangers and exploits; related his victories, his 
generality and clemency, to great purpofe; related and let forth 
his fatal end with fuch pathos, as made the whole circle fogh, and 
lament the untimely end of the Royal Conqueror. Another 
dwelt with peculiar accuracy, and judgment, upon the various 
exploits or the Carthaginian General; J his loffes, and victories-; 
particular^, he dwelt with peculiar pleafure, (which at the fame 
time afforded the higheft entertainment to the company) on the 
rout which that intrepid commander took over the Alps, with a 
view to lay fiege to the miftrefs of the world. J In a word, 

!l Ifai. liii. 3. t Alexander. X Hannibal. § Rome, 

Let. 12. ( 250 ) 

Pompcy, Julius Caefar, with many other heroes of antiquity 
were brought on the carpet, and many entertaining anecdote* 
related in a moll agreeable entertaining manner of thefe great 
-warriors. There is perhaps fcarce any thing will give fuch uni- 
versal fatisfa&ien, as hiftoric anecdotes. F we can credit anci- 
ent reports, the reading of hiftory has had a peculiar influence in 
recovering: perfons from dangerous, inveterate maladies, even 
when the art of medicine has been at a lofs for a remedy. || In 
the courfe of converfation there was a certain great pcrfonagc f 
introduced by a very grave looking gentleman, and who feemed 
to be very highly entertained with the preceding difecurfes. 
He entered with life and fpirit into the wars and victories of 
this glorious one, as recorded in the evangelifts: Showed how 
he was attacked by the prince of the power of the air, but came 
off a. glorious conqueror. Particularly he fliowed how at Jerusa- 
lem, and on Mount Calvary, he encountered with ai! the legions 
of hell, and by dying led them captive. He entered with peculiar 
energy upon thofe advantages that accrue to mankind upon" the 
account of this fignal defeat. Thefe faid he were our common 
foes, thefe attacked our common Lord; powerful as they were* 
what were they in the hands of this Almightv champim -; leu; 
habituated asfchey had been in the hellifh arc cS intrigue, they 
could not by all their policy extricate themfclves out of hi I 
What was Alexander, (added he) at the berr, a murderer or 
mankind ? What right had he to invade the territories, burn the 
cities, mafTacrc the fubjec~ts of the Perfian Monarch ? But - ■ 
Captain of our falvation executed judgment on thefe rebellious 
wicked fpirits, thefe enemies of his perfon, and government, -And 
of our falvation in juftice and rightcoufnefs. The great c 


11 Hiitory informs us that A'phonfus and Ferdimnd, the one king of 
Spain, rhe other of Italy, were fo charmed by reading Livy, and Quin- 
ms Curtiu>, that they were reftored ro their health when they w 
ffiven over by all their phyficians. The fame thing is told of Lore' 
6e Medici, commonlv ltilcd the father of letter?, that be-v.n- reO-r 
.to his ufual health from a very dangerous illnefs, by the relitlon of a- 
pafTage out of thehiftory of the Emperor Conrad 111. whjch was as fol- 
lows. This£mperor having reduced, the rebellious city of.Vein&erg, 
commanded it to be utterly deftroyed ; and moreover, ordered that its 
inhabitants jhould be all. made prifoners, except the women only. 
Whereupon thefe women made their humble fuit to tlje Emperor, jhgt. 
they might fave at leaft, what they were able to carry away ; which b,e- 
Jng granted, Conrad was fo much furprifed to fee them march' put, 
with their hufbands and children on their backs, and moved with fo 
much companion thereby, that he immediately pardoned the whole 

t The Captain of our falvation. 

Let. 12. ( 251 ) 

and defign, (added he) wn y this powerful Prince, this KIn-g of 
Kingt, and Lord of Lords appeared en the theatre ci this wor'-d 
was truly benign, to emancipate the human race from that i].i~ 
very and l>ond<i7e they were in to f.n f and Satan. In a word, 
from the pi&ure he drew of human nature; from the acconnt he 
gare of that divine philanthropy which glowed in the breaft, and 
actuated the divine Saviour, in all his wars and victories in the 
behalf of miserable enfiaved flmers; I imagined that nothing 
but the faenfice of prailc to the King, the Lord of Hofts, from 
the account gi\en, would have been offered up by every one prc- 
fent : Bur to mv great mortification it was quite otherwise. A 
flatnefs oi fpint inltantiy feized the whole circle: They ail 
wifhed the narration at an end : Yea I remember one gentle- 
man in particular whifpered to h.s fellow, that to introduce fuch 
a difcourfe, and dwell upon fuch a theme was very impolite. 
I am fare Onefifnus, in a better place, and among better compa- 
ny, it will never be deemed tad manners, nor any breach of po- 
litenefs and good breeding, tofing, and that in the mod uncea- 
(ing, rapturous manner to eternity, " unto him that loved u>, 
and wafhed us from our fins, in bit aivn blood, be honor, glorv, 
wifdom and riches, for ever, and ever." That bloody facrifice 
which Jcfus cur Mediator offered up on Mount Calvary, will be 
an eternal entertaining fubjecT. ; it will fwell the breafts, and dwell 
on the tongues of al! the redeemed from among men. 

You enquire Onefitnus in yours, from whence did the rite of 
facrificing derive \\$ origin ? Was it immediately inftituted by 
God, or not ? In order to an'wer your query, and for elucidat- 
ing this point, we mult, here, as in every other article of our holy- 
religion, make the Scriptures ^ur rule, arid walk precifely accor- 
ding to that light held fo>th through the lamp of divine revelation. 
We are told S an infpirtd penman, Heb. xi. 4. That Abel 
offered unto God, a more excellent Sacrifice than Cain; by 
which he cbrrned witnefs, that he was righteous, God teflifying 
of his gifts, and by it he beinc: dead yet fpeakcth.— — The facri- 
fices here mentioned by the A|>oit!e of the Gentiles, are evidently 
thofe of which Mofes gives us a brief account in Gen. iv. where 
he informs us, that in procefs of time Cain brought of the fruit rt 
the ground, an offering unto the L^rd ; and Abel healfo brought 
of the firftlings of the flock, and of the tat thereof: And the Lord 
had refpe& to Abel, and his offering ; but unto Cain, and his 
offering, he had no refpe&. 

Philo the Jew, according to Dr. Whitby, make? the defec> 
of Cain's faenfice to confift in two things; 1 ft that he did not 
offer it foon enough. 2d that he did not offer of the firft fruits 
of the earth, as did Abel of the flrftling ;f his flieep ; but only of 


Let. 12. ( 252 ) 

the fruits of the ground. But fuperfeding this jewifh notion, I 
think we may with greater fafety rely upon the reason the Apoflle 
affigns which gives the preference to Abel's facrifice, above that 
of Cain's, viz. bis faith. We are alfo told, that God tefbficd 
his acceptance of his facrifice. He had a teitimouy from Hea- 
ven, that he was well pleafed with him. Probably the external 
fymbol of this acceptance, confided in caufing fire to come down 
out of Heaven to confumc his facrifice. Thus he difcovered his 
acceptance of Abraham's facrifice, Gen. xv. 17. In the fame 
manner he manifefted his acceptance of Aaron's facrifice; of Gi- 
deon's, David's, Solomon's, and Elijah's. Accordingly the 
prayer of the Jews for their king runs thus : The Lord remem- 
ber all thy offerings, and turn to antes thy burnt-facrifice. Pfat. 
xx. 3. Whence could Cain certainly learn that God accepted 
the facrifice of Abel, and rejected Ijis, if it had not been owing: 
to fomc external fymbol ? And very likely this was it, celcftial 

Now Oneftmus do you enquire, did thofe men offer their re- 
fpe&ive facrifices to God, the one of the firflling of the flock; 
the other of the fruits of the ground, by the mere light of nature, 
flowing from a principle of gratitude to God the Creator, and 
gracious benefa&or, or by an immediate command from God ? 
Some very eminent and learned men entertained this notion 
and embraced this opinion; that the origin of facrificing fprung 
merely from the dictates of reafon, and the light of nature. \ 
would rather fuppofe, that this rite owed its original, and deriv- 
ed its authority, immediately from God's fpecial command, for 
the following reafons. 

ift Can it poffibly be fuppo r ed, that reafon and the light of 
nature could ever dictate, that the firfr, fruits of the ground, and 
the firtllings of the flock, could be acceptable facrifices to God $ 
confidcring the pure and fpiritual nature of Gocl? Could the 
li~ht of nature, unafMed by fomc particular revelation from 
Heaven* dictate that the definition of any creature could he a 
facrifice well pleafing in his fight ? Nature teaches, that the kil- 
ling of an innocent creature cannot be faid to be doing well: 
And therefore, fince AHel is faid to have done well, in killing, 
and offering up the firflling of his flock in facrifice, it is evident, 
that he muit have done this for fome good, and juft reafon ; and 
what reafon could juflify him but the command of Heaven ? 

2d Seeing the rite of facrificing obtained generally, and uni- 
verfally throughout the world; mufl: it not necefTarily follow f 
that this univerfal practice mufl derive its origin, and obtain its 
fan&ion, from fome dictate of reafon, or fome demand of nature; 
or fome principle of intereft, or fome powerful influence, or in- 


Let. 12. ( 253 ) 

junction of fomc being of univerfa! authority ? Now that the 
cuftom of facrificing univerfally prevailed for many ages over all 
the regions of the known world, no one that makes the leaft pre- 
tentions to the knowledge of antiquity will deny: And that 
this practice did not prevail from any dictate of reafon, or any 
demand of nature, I think is evident, when we confider, that 
mankind have no natural inftinct, or appetite to gratify in fhed- 
ding the blood of an innocent, inoffenfive creature. What is 
there in the human mind to be gratified by killing, and cutting 
in pieces the firftlingof the flock, and burning the body upon an 
altar ? Could there he any temptation from appetite to do this in 
thofe ages when the whole facrifice was confumed. Neither 
could it proceed from any principle of intereft; what felf-intereffc 
could a man have in offering in facrifice the firfl of his fruits, 
and the firitJing of his flock ? How then could this practice ob- 
tain, and obtain fo univerfally in the world, to which mankind 
were neither,urged by the light of nature, nor any inftinct and 
demand of nature; nor by any felf-intereft of any kind, but 
quite the contrary ; in dire6t oppofition to every principle of na- 
ture and infereft ? The only way I prefume then, that this is to 
be accounted for, is from fome powerful influence of example, 
or injunction of authority : And what example could influence 
thefe two brothers, Cain, and Abel to prefent their refpective of- 
ferings to God, except that of Adam: And what authority could 
enjoin this on Adam, except that of God. 

3d Did not God afipDrd a furc proof of the acceptance of Abel's 
facrifice, and alfo of his having done ivell in that act of adora- 
tion ? From whence I would conclude, that this vite owed its 
original to an immediate injunction from Heaven. For h it 
not certain, that the deftruction of an innocent creature neithsr 
is, nor can be of itfelf, an action acceptable to God ; and there- 
fore nothing but duty could make it acceptable, and nothing but 
the command of God could make it duty ? It is certain, that no 
man has any right to the lives of the creatures but God ; or thoie, 
on whom he confers that right : And it is certain, that God had 
not yet given man a right to the creatures, even for neceflary 
food, far lefs for unnecefTary cruelty : Therefore nothing but a 
fpecial command from Heaven could cieatc a ri^ht to take away 
their lives. 

Moreover, no human action is good, or acceptable in God's 
fight, otherwife than as it is conformable to the will of God, ei- 
ther revealed, or eirabliihed in the nature of things : Ant that this 
action was conformable to the will of God, could only be known 
by revelation, i. e. by being commanded. If this a<9 of wor- 
Ihip had not obtained the immediate fan&ion of Heaven, would 


Let. 12. ( 254 ) 

not Abel have been guilty of wilUworfhip ? A fpcoee of demo- 
tion that in no age of the world was acceptable to God. 1« 
vain fays our Lord, do they worftiip me, teaching for do&rimes 
fhe -commandments of men. Whatever fuperftition and WiirH- 
worfliip has prevailed in the world, fince that period, w« cer- 
tainly have no reafori to accufe thefe primitive iacrificers of 

4th The Apoftle afiures us that Abel offered a more excellent 
faenfice than Cain, by faith ; and the nature of this faith he ex- 
plains in fom-e following inftancc, e. g. He tells us, that Noah 
prepared an ark by faith; Abraham left his own country, by 
taith, and went out not knowing: whither; that Sarah, by faith, 
received ftrength to conceive feed. Now we know, that Noah 
built the ark by the exprefs command of God, in order that he. 
and his houfe, fhould be faved from that alarming judgment 
threatned to fall upon the reft of the world. We are allured that 
Abraham left his country anil kindred, by the exprefs command 
ot God, and went into a country which God had afTured him, 
he mould receive for an ir/heritance. Now what was the faith 
of Noah and Abraham, but a firm confidence in the aflurances 
he gave them, however feemingly improbable, and unlikely to 
he fulfilled ? And what was Sarah Yfakh, but a firm dependance 
upon God, for the performance of a thing naturally impotliblcto 
be fulfilled ? Can we doubt, but that Abel's faith cOnflftcd in an 
afFurance of bein? accepted, though in an a£t of duty, otherwiie 
mod unlikely to be pleafing to 'God, as that of the deftru&ion 
of his innocent creatures? Certainly this was an action than 
ch nothing could be more in appearance, ill fitted, to appeafe 
Grtd'san^T, or obtain the divine favour: And yet a ready ©be- 
-V'ence flawing from this divine principle of faith to that great 
tieing who commanded it, made the action acceptable to God. 
V Without faith it is inedible to pleafc God :" And a divine 
faith, neceflarily prefuppofes fome divine revelation. Without 
a fpecial revelation, our feerningly moft devout actions, will be 
found to be but fuperftition ; arid without a principle of faith, 
rh-v wih' be at the beft but hypocrify. There is no doubt, but 
rhar the. faith of Abel fo much celebrated by the Apoftle had 
Chnft a.«> its immediate obje6t in view; who in the fulnefs of 
time, w?is to be manifested to take away fin by the facriflcc 6f 
himself ; whereof his was but a ihadow. He could net be igno- 
rant of the gofpel preached by God himfelf, to Adam before he 
reft Paraclife; it was wrapped up in thefe emphatic terms : That 
fhe feed of the woman fhould bruile the head of the fernent; arid 
Chat in return he fhould have his heel bruited. And herein pro- 
bably lay the difference between Cain, and Abel; the rbnner 


Let. 12. ( 255 ) 

expected pardon and remiflion, without an atonement, although 
a worfe man; Abel though a better man, offered fuch a facri- 
fice, as plainly implied a confeioufnefs of guilt, which called for 
an atonement; which his facrifrce could not make, but by faith, 
he beheld through his facrifke the Son of God making his foul 
an offering for fin. " We are, (fays Paul) made accepted in 
the beloved." Since ever the entrance of fin into the World, 
this has been univerfally true, as much with regard to Abel, as 
Paul. |j 

One might think it ftrange Onefimus, that Mofes mould he en- 
tirely filent on this head; gives net the remoteft hint of any di- 
vine command for this zGt of devotion. But I prefume it needs 
not be thought ftrange, when we confider the brevity of the fa- 
crcd hiftorian, in almoft every fubjeci he treats of. He never 
mentions the prophecy of Enoch, nor that moleftation and grief 
of heart Lot met with from the corrupt manners, and lewd practi- 
ces of the Sodomites, although mentioned by other faered hifto- 
riorts. -f — Again, as Mofes wrote particurarly to the Jews, fuch 
a relation would have betn unneceflary; they knew very well, 
that their own facrifkes were of divine inftitution, ^.nd that 
God manifefted his acceptance of them upon the firit. folemn ob- 
lation after their inftitution, by miraculous fire from the divine 
prefence; J and they could have no reafon to doubt, that they 
were fo inftituted, and fo accepted from the beginning: Nor had 
they the leaft reafon to be informed of a truth which, doubtlefs 
a clear, uninterrupted tradition, had long made familiar to 

From the above Orttfimus, I think that the rite of facrificing 
owed its original to an immediate divine warrant, and not to the 
light 01 nature, or any dictate of reafon or conscience. 1 ima- 
gine further, if we but reflect for a moment on the ftate and con- 
dition of the firft pair immediately after their revolt from God, 
and their fatal tranfgrdlion of his divine law; I think we wi!J 
find much of the wifdom, gecdnefs, and mercy of God diipbyed 
in the inftitution offaenfices: More fo perhaps than in any other 
mode of worfhip, or aft of devotion, that could have been infti- 
tuted. Was there not clearly exhibited in the killing, arm burn- 
ing of the lacrificc, this plain but important lehcri ; that man 
by his fin had forfeited 'his life, according to tfxt breaming, " in 


I Whitby in his annotations fays that according ro the Targum of 
Jerufalem, and Jonathan IJ-zziel , the Jews fay that Cain denied there 
would be any future judgment, or rewards to the juft; but Abel, for 
maintaining rhe contrary ivas accepted. 

t 2 Pet, ii. 5, 7, 8. Jude, *. 14. \ Levit. ix. 

Let. 12. ( 256 ) 

the day tliat thou eatt ft thereof, thou fhalt furely die ?" Now, 
if life be actually the forfeit of every tranfgreifion, is it not evi- 
dent, that an inftitution which carries that document it, 
mull: be a plan of infinite unerring wifdom ? But that man for- 
tatcd his life by his tranigrefTion, is evident rrom the aforefaid 
threatning. 'J he infinite wifdom of God concerted a plan to 
!avc man from death, and at the fame time to provide for the 
juftice, and holinefs of his nature contained in the thieatning . 
And feeing an infinitely holy, and juft God faw meet to conti- 
nue the lives of the firft: pair for the fame reafon for which he 
created them, r. e. for the manifestation of his own glory ; in 
this cafe then, nothing could be more reafonable, than that he 
iliould continue it under fome memorial of his own mercy, and 
man's demerit; here then was a noble and glorious memorial of 
the heinoufnefs of man's fin, and the greatnefs of God's mercy. 
For if there was no landing evidence of man's fin kept up, guilt 
would foon lofe its terror; and if this take place, corruption would 
carry finners to endlefs enormity; and on the other hand, if 
there was no aflurance of forgivenefs after tranfgreflion, the effect 
would tt»rn out to be the fame; for defpair would drive men to 
the lame extreme of wickednefs, to which impunity would tempt 
them. What of the manifold wifdom of God then is (ccn. in the 
iiiflkution of facrifices. Here is evidently painted before the firfl 
tranfgrefTcrs, a memorial of the greateft mercy, and at the fame 
time, fo difplaycc) as to ftrike terror into guilt. That they were 
guilty, and that their guilt laid $iem obnoxious to death, they 
clearly faw in the death of the innocent viQim. That God was good 
and gracious, they faw in its fubftitution in their room and ftead. 
Now feeing facrifices are fitted to effe& this beyond any thing 
that we know of, is it not evident to a demon ftration, that the 
wifdom and goodnefs of God, are remaikably and confpicuouily 
manifefted in the inftitution of them at this time ? 

Further, the wifdom and goodnefs of God will clearly appear 
in this matter if we confider, that Adam and Eve, were not on- 
ly moraily, but indecently naked; Decency then required, they 
fhouid be covered: And befides this, the inclemency of the air, 
added to the infirmity of nature, which fin had introduced, had 
now made cloathing abfoiutely neceflary; fince otherwiie, their 
life would foon have become miferable; or rather, mull foon be 
deftroyed, without fome better protection than that of a few fig- 
fc-aves. Moreover this exigence would likewife be fupplied and 
fully anfwered by facrifices, which would yield them covering 
from the fkins of the beads fo flain. Nor is there the leaft reafon 
1 think to doubt, but that the cloaths made for our firft parents 
by divin* appointment, immediately after the fall, were compofed 


Let. 12. ( 257 ) 

of the fkins of the creatures offered up in facrifice on this occafi- 
on, particularly for this reafon. We can fcarcely imagine, that 
any of the irrational tribe lately created in perfection would die 
fo foon; or would naturally many years after: And at this early 
period, nor for long after, were they flain for food; until after 
the flood, there was no grant of the creatures to man for this end: 
Neither I think was there any necefiity that God fhould flay 
them for that fole end and purnofe, when all the ends to he gn- 
fwered Sv their death, would be fully anfwered in the fingle in- 
fta*ce of facrifices. 

Again, as I already hinted, this was a noble expedient of infi- 
nite wi!'dom,to fhow that death was the pena'ty of difol ediencc : 
And fince it was fo, it was highlv recjuifite that Adam fhou'd 
know what he was to fuffer ; and coniequently, that he fliould 
fee death in all its horror and deformity, in order to have a more 
adequate view, and a more clear perception of the turpitude and 
moral evil of fin. And what Onefimus could (how this evil more 
uron^ly than the groans, and ftruggles of innocent creatures, 
bleeding to death for his guilt before his eyes, and hy his own 
hands? Sights of this kind are fhocking to humanity even yet, 
though cuftom hath long made them familiar. With what hor- 
ror then, may we fuppofe they {truck the fouls, and pierced the 
hearts of our firft parents: And how was this horror aggravated, 
when they confideied themlelves as the guilty authors of lo much 
cruelty to the creatures around them. 

Moreover, this inftitution, was yet more extenfive in its in- 
fluence; for fince early imprefiions of the danger and horror of 
guilt, are the heft fecurity againft a courfe of iniquity; nothing 
could be better fitted, to fix thefe impreflions deep in the minds 
of children, than the neceffity of fhcddiiig bleed introduced by 
fin. And it was eafy for a prudent parent to inculcate, a»d im- 
pofliblc for a pious parent not to inculcate this on every cccafi- 
on of killing the facrifice in atonement for fin. E'ptciaiJy this 
behoved to be the cafe, with the firft facrificer, when he himfeif 
felt all that horror of iniquity which he would imprefs upon his 
children on that occafion : And therefore the rite of facr;ficing 
was not onlv wife and peceffarv with regard to Adam and Eve, 
but admirably contrived to convey an early abhorrence of fin 
into the minds of their offspring, from generation to genera- 

Add to all this, that Adam was to be yet further inftrucled of 
death by facrifices: When the groans and ftruggles of the dying 
victim were over, what ghaftly and fad fights muff the fhut eyes, 
and cold carcafe afford him, placed on the altar, and its allies 


Let. 12. ( 258 ) 

afterwards. How difmal a meditation mud it have been, to re- 
fled on the beauty and excellency of animate creatures reduced 
to a handful of dud. What a mocking lecture of mortality muft 
the remains of the facrificed victims read to the firft pair, in their 
feveral gradations from corruption to duff; efpecially when they 
could not behold them in that condition, but under the full aflu- 
rance, that they theinf elves mu(l follow the fame fteps to de- 

And is it poflible to conceive, how God could ftrike the human 
foul with a greater fenfe ofmifery arifing from guilt, or more ab- 
horrence of the caufe of that mifery than by this conduct ? There 
is no doubt, but that Adam would teel all the horror on this oc- 
eafion that can poflibly be imagined ; yea, reduced probably to 
fuch a ftate by this direful fpectacle> that if the mercy of God had 
hot caufed fome ray of hope to Ihine thiough this fcene of morta- 
lity and mifery, it is hardly to be conceived how he could have 
been fupported without (inking into all the horrors of defpair. 
Therefore it feems to have been abfolutely ncceffary, that when 
the heart of man was pierced through with a thoufand furrows 
from a reflection of guilt and mifery, upon viewing the innocent 
creature thus fuffering; that thole facrifices mould carry fome 
intimation of pardon and atonement : And this natively leads 
us for v mo to this glorious fcene, the firft promulgation of the 
covenant of grace. When the covenant of works made with 
our firft parents was broken by the fin of man, and abrogated by 
the juft judgment of God ; wretched man was caft into the deep- 
eft gulph of ruin, whence there could be no efcape. But it 
filealcd God, according to the riches of his Unfearchable wif- 
Hom, to lay this breach of the legal covenant as a foundation 
for the erc&ioh of a moft ftupendous work ot grace, mercy and 
tove. He took occafion to fet up a new covenant of grace, in 
which, he might difplay, and more clearly unfold the ineftirna- 
Me treaiures of his all-fufficiency, than if every thing had gone 
well with man according to the firft covenant. And thus he 
difcovered what fcemed to fur pa fs all comprehenfion and be- 
Ricfj that God, who is holy, juft and true, could, without any 
diminution to, nay rather with a much more illuftrious dil- 
bffh's ad( n.ble perfections, become the God and falvation of 
the fmner. He found out that admirable, and ever-glorious 
fdieme, to rccoi cite the ftricteft juitice, with the moft condefcend- 
ing mercy : So uuit the one, mould be no obftfu&ion to the other. 
Such an illuftrious exercile of thefc perfections could have no 
place under the legal covenant. 

It was God's ulual m-cthod in ratifying covenants with men 
in after ages, to do this by facrifice : As in the cafe of Ncah, 
and Abraham, &c. And can we imagine, that he failed to do 


Let. 12. ( 259 ) 

fo when mercy was more wanted than ever it was fincc the foun- 
dation of the world ? Is it to be imagined, that God would fee 
to the health and protection of the bodies of Adam and Eve on 
this occafion, and provide nothing for the reftoration and tran- 
quillity of their minds? No, the thing be far from God, the 
thought be far from us. He had lately promifed mercy to them 
at the expenfe of the Devil ; yea of his own Son, the feed of the 
woman: And now out of his gracious condefcenfion, and infi- 
nite wifdom, he ratifies and confirms this covenant and 
by facrifice. This covenant was cut upon a facrifice. || Here 
was a ftiadow and fymbol, of what the Mefliah was to fuffer in 
the laft ages, in order to make a proper and real atonement for 
fin. Now a ray of hope begins to dawn upon the minds of this 
wretched pair. In the fubftitution of an innocent creature, they 
beheld figuratively, the holy Lamb of God: In the fufferings of 
the victim, they read this very important, exhilarating lecture, 
that the feed of the woman fhould be opprefled, afflicted, and 
bruifed by God; and by his fufferings put an end to fin, and 
bring in an everlafting righttoufnefs. They now behold with 
amazement and joy, the blood of the facrifice adumbrating and 
pointing out that blood, which cleanfeth from all fin; for Jefus 
was the Lamb flain from the foundation of the world. The 
glorious fabrick of this world was not long finiffied when fin, guilt, 
and mifery entered. Scarce had thefe entered, when there was 
a gracious remedy revealed, and the way and manner of its pur- 
chafe and application, typically discovered in the inltitution of 
facrifices. There is little room to doubt, but Adam viewed the 
rite of facrificing as figurative of a better facrifice: For we cannot 
by any means fuppofe, that he entertained the lead idea of any 
real virtue in the blood of an animal to take away fin. It it be 
faid, that it is hardly fuppofable, that from all the revelation of 
the future Mefliah which he received, that he could through the 
rite of facrificing view him. The fame thing may be faid of 
Abraham, and yet our Lord tells us, that he faw his day afar off 
and rejoiced: He faw it not only in the promife, but in the con- 
firmation of the promife by facrifice. It is very poffible, that 
Adam had a clearer, and more exprefs revelation of the future 
Mefliah, than the Holy Ghoft has leen meet to tranimit to us. 
It is very probable, that the reafon why Cain's facrifice was re- 
jected, and Abel's accepted, was, that the former had not that 
faith in the future Mefliah which Abel had. 

I AT. J. 5. 

S 2 

Let. 12. ( 260 ) 

In a word Onefmus, it is I think hardly fuppofable, that cither 
ttlc l'g nt of nature, the dilates cf confeience ; or a fenfe of grati- 
tude for favours received, could have fugg;efted fuch an inftitution, 
»n which, fo much of mifery and mortality, guilt and horror, is 
difcovered: In which, fo much of grace, love, and mercy fhinesj 
and typical of fuch ineftimaMe bleflings to he procured by the 
fuflfcrings of the Mefliah in due time. I imagine it is ftill fafeft, 
to refer this, as well as every other part of our religious exercifes 
to the fole authority and appointment of Heaven : And 
as I faid before, nothing could be better calculated to fhow our 
firft parents the grievous demerit of fin, and at the fame time, 
keep them from finking into the dreadful gulph of defpair, by 
the infinite and undeferved mercy of God displayed in this in- 
stitution. This was a lufficient document to them, that if they 
were (inners, there was mercy in God's bread for them. 

Before I clofe my letter, allow me to give you a brief account 
of a convcrfation which took place between Superbus, and your 
friend. I am indeed exceeding forry to inform you of the occafi- 
on of this interview. There came a letter to my hand yefterday, 
containing an account of the dangerous fituation of my friend. 
I fet off without delay, and to my great furprife found him in the 
moft aaiiQcroos ftate: It feems to be a hafty confumption with 
whic s he is affected. After giving a minute account of the rife 
and progrefs or his diforder, and of the fmall hopes which the phy- 
sicians entertain of his recovery; he looked earneftly in my face, 
repeating this very pertinent, and important phrafe; " all flefh 
" is grafs, and all the goodlinefs thereof is as the flower of the 
" field. The grafs withereth, the flower fadeth, becaufe the 
" fpirit of the Lord bloweth upon it : Surely the people is grafs. f 
" A few weeks ago, who would have imagined that I would have 
'• been reduced almoft to a flceleton in fuch a (hort fpaceof time. 
*' Robuit and vigorous, I flattered myfelf that the days which 
" an all-wife providence hath determined for me, and the num- 
" ber of my months, hid in his fecret purpofe and decree, were 
" not fo nearly elapfed, as they feem in all human probability to 
" be. (i Mine age is departed, and removed like a fhepherd's 
" tent." 'I he time is fail approaching, when I (hall behold 
" man no n.ore, with the inhabitants of the world. O what a 
fi ferious affair is it to die! And a matter of infinite importance 
" to die well. You know Philemon, that we have had different 
" convcrfarions on religious fubje&s; and various difputes on 
4< this mod momentous queftion, " how we are to be faved. M 
" Thefe fubje&s in the days of my profperity, were handled bj 
" me too much as matters of mere fpeculation. Herein I no* 

" fee 
t ifai. il. 6, 7- 

Let. 12. ( 261 ) 

u fee and acknowledge my error. My prayer to God now is, 
" that it may plea e God who feparated me from my mother's 
i( womb, to reveal his Srm in, and tome. That I may know hiro, 
t( in the power c c his icfurrecYion, and the fellowfhip of his fuffci- 
*' ings being; mad:- conformable to his death. Now Philemon, I 
" find myfelf on the verge of eternity. Death is at the door; 
" that dire meffenger has already fixed his dart in my very vi- 
" tals. If you are poiTeffed of that efbem, which, fmce the com- 
" mencement of our acquaintance, you have always profeffed to 
" have for me; yea, if you have any regard for my precious 
" and immortal foul, tell me how I am to he faved. You may 
" reft aflured that I will bitten to whatever ftiall drop from your 
'* lips with all that attention, that my prefent debilitated (late 
" and frame, will permit; and receive with cheerfulnefs, what- 
** ever comfort the fpiiit of God may be pleafed to diftil into my 
" foul, through your means. 

" You know Philemon perfectly well my manner of life; you 
" arc throughly fenfible of my grievous fufferings at prefent. 
" Do you think, that the honefly and fobfiety of my deport- 
iC ment through life, and my grievous fufFerings at prefent will 
" avail nothing in the matter of my juftification before God, 
" when 1 mull fhortly (land before his impartial tribunal, and 
" there be either juftified or condemned ? Is there, think you, 
i{ that perfection in ChriiVs atonement and fatisfaction, upon 
f which, I may by faith, reft allured of a complete acquittal 
'* from all the charges which God's holy law, or ftrict juftice 
if may bring in againft me ?" 

Onefimus'y you may eafily judge, that this behoved to be a very 
diftrefrmg fcene to me. My heart full of grief for my dear friend ; 
my mind full of anxiety about the manner how I mould conduct 
myiVlfin directing him with regard to thofe things which belong- 
ed to his eternal p^ace. I think, I never found myfelf in the fame 
predicament. 1 was (in my judgment) a 1 out to lofe my friend; 
he was afraid of loling his foul: Death feemingly at hand; but 

. no inward comfort to counterbalance its terrors, or difpel its 
glo< >g to give prefent comfort, or future hope. If 

he had re.ired any fuperftructure, it was on the fand. That foun- 
dation that Go. 1 haih laid in Zion, which, whomever builds up- 
on fhall never he confounded, was too much (lighted by my 
friend, imagining, there was not that perfection, virtue, and 
efficacy in CbrivVs obedience which the Scriptures every where 

v junanimoufly declare there is ; a legal principle or pride wrought in 
his mind to his great confufion; fuggeding that his former good 

v works and prefent fufferings, could not, but he fomewhat fatisfact<>- 
r ■, to the claim of the law for obedience, and of juftice for fatisfac- 

Let. 12. ( 261 ) 

After paufmc: a frw moments, and after a little recollection, 
I addrefTed Superbws in the following manner: My dear friend, 
I thought from what had patted in fome of our preceding inter- 
views, that yoin mind was more eftablifhed in the truth as it i$ 
in Jefus, than at prcfent it fecms to be. However, I gladly em- 
brace the prefent opportunity to difplay the riches, the unfearch- 
able riches of Chrifl:; and if poflible to convince you, where your 
true comfort in life, and your future profpe& of happinefs at 
death, and through eternity, lies,* viz. in the complete and per- 
fect atonement and fatisfa&ion of Jefus. 

Confider the dignity of the perfon of the Mediator, and I think 
you muft conclude with me, that what Chrifl did and fuffer- 
ed as our furety was in every refpeft complete to anfwer all the 
purpofes of man's falvation. There were two things absolutely 

neceffary in the conftitution of Jefus the Mediator: That he 

lhould be perfectly holy; for how could the Redeemer fave loft 
finners from fin, if he himfelf had been guilty ? How could he 
purchafe an eternal redemption for us, who flood in need of the 

fame bleffing himfelf? Again, it was requifite that he mould 

be endued with an infinite virtue, that his obedience and fuffer- 
ings mould counter-balance the infinite evil of fin. Now Super- 
bus, were not .thefe found in the mod eminent meafure and de- 
gree in the perfon of our Lord Jefus Chrifl, the one Mediator 
between God and man ? '* He was holy, harmlefs, undcfiled, 
and feparated from finners." So pure and holy, that he neither 
knew fin in his heart, nor pra&ifed it in his life. || 

As he was thus perfectly free from all contagion of fin, either 
in thought, word, or a&ion ; fo he was the true, and Eternal 
God; and fo pofTeffed of that infinite dignity which flamped his 
obedience and death with that value and virtue as to render thefe 
in every refpect adequate to the infinite evil, and demerit of fin. 
Hence we find a twofold fulnefs afcribed to Jefus; a fulnefs 
of grace and holinefs. It pleafed the Father that in him fhould 
all fulnefs dwell, Coll. i. 19. " That out of his fulnefs we 

fhould all receive and grace for grace." There is alfo in him 

a fulnefs of Deity ; in this fenfe, the fulnefs of the God-head is 
faid to dwell in him bodily. \ Not myflically, as God dwelleth 

II 2 Cor. v. zz. 

t This fulnefs according to the Gnoftics,was made up of their thirty 
&ones. The Heathens, befides the fupreme God, owned many other lo- 
cal Gods prefiding over nations, and fo made up the plenitude of the 

God-head of them all; as fo many partial .Deities. Againft fuch 

opinions, the Apoftle here aifercs, that the whole fulnefs of the God- 

Let. 12. ( 263 ) 

In his Saints ; not fymbolically, as he is (een in the facraments ' 
not typically, as under the law ; but eflcntialfy, and really. 

'Now Super bus, if the Mediator was thus perfectly holy, and at 
the fame time, a perfon of infinite dignity ; will it not neceflarily 
follow, that his fatisfaction and atonement was of an infinite na- 
ture? And if fo, mull, it not he perfect and all-fufficient 'for all 
the purpofes and ends of our falvation ? Can any thins: more per- 
fect, or greater, be added to what is infinitely perfect? 

How derogatory my dear friend, to the infinite and perfect fa- 
tisfaction of Jefus, is it for you to imagine, that the extreme fuf- 
ferings under which you now labour, are intended by God to fa- 
tisfy his juftice, and atone for ycur former tranfgrerTions, in op- 
pofition to the all-perfect nature of the Redeemer's merit and 
atonement. Confider, that there is an effential difference be- 
tween your fufferings, and tfiofe of the Saviour. His were pro- 
perly penal; yours only cafligatory: His were properly fatistac- 
tory, yours only intended by God for the trial of your faith and 

Have you any thing to object againft what has been juft now 
obferved ? Satisfy your own mind ; let not your faith ftand in the 
wifdom of men, but in the power of God. It is with God, and 
not with men, that you have to do: God is both your witnefs, 
and yoifr judge. To give an implicit faith to the dictates of men, 
will, in the ifflie, inftead of making real chriftians, mike down- 
right hypocrites. 

" I imagined Philemon, that Chrift by his obedience and death, 
t( only intended that mankind fhould be put in a capability to 
" fatisfy both by their works and fufferings, i. e. if mpn wafk- 
" ed ibherly, and honeffly, or in divine providence 

What -vas a tittle ago obferved, contains a direct anfwer to 
your objection. But to give you all poflible fatisfaction on the 
head, let nie afk you, where has your hypothecs any countenance 
from the word of God ? If you would point cut the place, I would 
be entirely obliged to you ? Or where it can be deduced, by any 


head dwelt in Chrift and that bodily, i. e. perfonally. The Apoftle 
here doth not roundly fay that Chrift is potfefled of fuprerae Dsity ; but 
ej^reffes the divine nature as above, partly to reprefent to the Jews the 
divinity of Chrift, in aUufion to the God of Ifrael dwelling in the t-n- 
ple ; and partly, to oppofe him to the fibroma of the Gnoftics ; and to 
the partial Deities of the Heathens. 

L:t. 12. ( 264 ) 

rational confequence ? T hope at lcafl, you ?re as much of a r cho- 
lar, as not to credit any dottrine however fpecious without ncing 
p r op?r!y authenticated from the Scriptures; and as much of a 
chriftian, as not to trufl your falvation to any thing, without be- 
ing firmly convinced that there is falvation to he retained by the 
object of your faith ; i. e. whether by Chrifl alone, or by your 
own works of righteoufnefs, in whole, or in part, or by your 
corporal fufferings. Is not this the univerfal language or the 
Scripture on this head, that Chritl died for us; that he through 
the Eternal Spirit offered himfelf to God to purge our conferen- 
ces from dead works; that he was made a curfc for us to redeem 
us from the curfe of the law ? But no where in all divine reve- 
lation, are we told that he died for us, to put us in a falvable flate ; 
or procure flrength for us to fatisfy for ourfelves* Was this ieal- 
Jy the cafe think you, that Chrifl died for our redemption, that 
we might be our own Saviours; or that he paid our debt, in no 
other fenfe, than that we might be rendered capable of paying it 
ourfelves ? If you recollect what was obferved in fome of our 
former conferences on this point, I hope you will foon Jee how 
fallacious your arguing on this head is. 

But your objection is entirely repugnant to the very nature* or. 
the thing, and the common ufe of language ; One can never be 
faid to fatisfy for another, unlefs he pays down the fum due by 
him to the creditor. To intercede with the creditor for a miti- 
gation of the fum ; or to plead to put off the time of payment ; 
or entirely to remit the debt out of grace and favour; or put the 
debtor in a way of paying it himfelf; this is by no means to make 
fat:sfatf.ion in the common acceptation of the word. 

Again, if Chrill has only fati*fied for us, i. e. by his obedi- ' 
ence and death procuring ability to fatisfy for ourfelves, then he 
cannot be faid to have fatisfied once, but often, and every clay, 
and that neither by himfelf, but by us; and not for us, but m 
us; which portions are totally repugnant to the exprefs declara- 
tion of the Holy Ghoft on this head, and to the very nature cf the 
thing. " Who his own fetf bore our fins in his own body on the 
tree. So Chrifl was ence offered to bear the fins of many, when 
he had by himfelf purged our fins. || 

Again, if Chrifl has only fatisfied for us, in order that we might 
obtain grace and flrength to fatisfy for ourfelves, by the fame pa- 
rity of reafon, Chriit may be faid to believe and repent for us; 
becaufe he communicates grace and flrength to believe, and re- 
pent, which would be perfectly abfurd. I acknowledge indeed, 
that the Apoflle Paul exhorts finners to work out their falvati- 
on with fear and trembling; and we are faid to be co-workers 

1] 1 Pet. ii. 24. Heb. ix. 28. chap. i. 3. 

Let. 12. ( 265 ) 

with God. f But think you that thisco-opcraticn with God, end 
working ou: our falvation relpect.s its purchafe ? No, this is the 
proper and incommunicable office ot the Mediator. 1 believe 
that God would as foon call us to create a '.vorld, as to pure hale 
our own falvarinn, by any thing we can- either d^, or luffer. 
Thefc aforefaijl Sfcrrptures then, mud have an entire reference to 
the application of the purchafed redemption; and in this, we are 
co-workers with God: When he draws gracioufly and powerful- 
ly, we run tellingly and cheerfully; when he begets in us faith 
and repentance, we believe and repent. Now in order to obtain 
thefe faving graces which are only the inftrumenta! caufe, we 
are bound to a confeientious obfervance of every ordinance of 
Heaven's inftitution. 

Further, that ChrilVs atonement and fatisfa<5tion is complete 
to anfwer all the" ends and purpofes of falvation is evident, from 
the unity of the mediatorial ofiicG, and of that oblation of himfelf 
to God, tofinifh tranfgreffion and make an end of fin. That he 
{lands the only, and alone Mediator between God and men, is 
the unanimous language of the facred Scriptures on this head. J 
The unity of his oblation and faenfice by which they, who are 
fan&ified, are for ever perfected, is every where alfo taught in the 
fame Scriptures of truth. By his obedience only, many are made 
righteous; the price which was paid down for our redemption, 
was paid by him alone. || Now Suprrbus, if the atonement and 
fatisfacYion of Jefus was not abfo'utely perfect to anfwer every 
demand of law and juflice; but in order alfo for this, that our 
obedience and fufFerings were anoahiolutel" rcquifue, he certain- 
ly does not deferve the name of the atom Mediator and Redeem- 
er. Who can with propriety fav, that by the obedience of one, 
many are made righteous; and by once offering up of himfelf, 
he ha'h for ever p- rfe&ed them who are fan&ified; if our obedi- 
ence and good wo >s are abfolutdy necedary in order for our 
j unification before Gcd; or if there remain for the fame reafon 
co"poral affli&ionb to be endured, either in this, or fome un- 
kno'vn world. 

Remember Superbut, if what you fay was true, the glory of 
redemption and falvation mull be divided between Chrift and his 
Saints : But the fong in the celeftial regions attributes the whole 
praife to him for completing and perfecting the whole work of 
falvation and redemption for them. Hear the r fong of praife, 
and then conclude, that our Lord Jefus is a rock, and his work 
is perfect. Unto him that loved us, and wafhed us from our fins 


t Philip, ii. 11. 2 Cor. vi. 1, 2. 

X Acls iii. 24. i Tim. ii. 4. 1 Cor. iii. 14. 

11 Rom. v. 18. Heb. x. n, 12. chap. ix. 26, 28, 

Let. 12, ( 266 ) 

in his own blood; unto him be glory, and dominion, for ever 
and ever. Amen. The whole fcheme of man's redemption is 
calculated entirely, to bring down the pride of man, that the 
Lord atone may be exalted, and God that is high be glorified, 
'* Where is boafting then ? It is excluded : By what law ? Of 
works: Nay, but by the law of faith." How difficult is it, to 
purge the human heart of the leaven of pharifaical pride, with 
which it is tinctured from our earlieft infancy. To be faved, is 
the natural wifh of every one ; to be his own Saviour, is the na- 
tural inclination of every man. 

Confider again Superbus, the grcatnefs and grievous nature of 
thofe fufferings which the Mediator bore, and from thefe, you 
may warrantably conclude, the perfection and all-fufficient na- 
ture of his atonement and fatisfa&ion for the falvation offinners. 
That he bore that punifhment, and endured thofe fufferings 
which we ought to have borne, andfuffered in our own perfons, 
I have (you know) already proven. Did he omit any thing 
which the law or juftice of God required, in order to lay a foun- 
dation for God to receive the (inner in mercy, in a confiftency 
with the other perfections of his nature ? And I may add, for the 
finner to build upon for eternal life ? It is hard to conceive, why 
the Lord mould have made to meet on him the iniquities of u:. 
all; why he mould have bruifed and put him to grief ; why he 
Ihould have made his foul an offering for fin ; delivered him into, 
the hands of his malicious foes ; permitted the Devil to wreak his 
vengeance on him; and poured his own wrath into his foul; I 
fay, why did all thefe things happen to the Mediator ? \\ hat 
meant the heat of this gr eat anger ? If yet after all, our redemp- 
tion is incomplete, and our falvation (till precarious, depending 
upon the moral obedience, and the temporal fufferings of the fan- 
ning creature, with regard to its purchafe. Do you imagine, 
(I am fare it is far from your thought) that God would be fo unjufr, 
as to require a double fatisfa£rion ; firft to charge the Mediator 
with our debt of obedience and fuffering ; and after ail to charge 
the fame debt upon the believer in Jefus, i. e. in order to pur- 
chafe falvation Jefus mud die, and fuffer, and after all to render 
redemption complete the believer in Jefus, mud fulfil the law as 
a covenant, and fall into the hands of the living God, and fuffer 
for his perfonal tranfgreffions. I think I may anfwer for you,, 
my dear friend, that luch an injurious reflection upon the juftice 
and holinefsof God never entered your mind. Beware then of 
concluding, that your prefent, or any after fufferings in this life, 
which an all-wife andfovereign God may inflict on you, can, in 
the fmalfcft degree make an atonement for your foul, or merito- 
fioufly procure the remiifion of your fins. 


Let. i2. ( 267 ) 

Permit me a^ain, to exhibit to you, the perfection of ChrilY* 
facrificefor ail the ends and purpofes offalvation, independent of 
creaturc-meril, or creature-fufferings, and that from Jlc:n'.^'j 
approbation both <>f the perfon and facrifice of the Mediator. It 
God the party offended was fo well pleafed with the furety and 
his righteoufnefs, as upon this account to turn away his wrath. 
and proclaim reconciliation with the Tinner; can you, or an 
doubt of the perfection of his atonement and fatisfaction. Far be 
it from us to imagine, that God who is holy and juft, mould ac- 
cept of an imperfect fati.4action, detrimental. to the perfections of 
his nature, and repugnant to the rights of his juftice, and infuffi- 
cient to anfwer the demands of his law ; fo as to exhibit a testi- 
mony from Heaven, and perpetuate a {landing memorial of hit 
complacency and arquiefcence therein, in his word. 

It you afk Superbus, how doth it appear that Gcd is thus well 
pleafed both with the perfon and oblation of Jefus ? I anfwer, 
from his defti nation and appointment of him to his mediatorial 
offices: This flowed entirely from the good will and pleafure of 
God. || Now, feeing God is omnifcient, and knows perfectly 
every future event ; can we imagine, that he would have ap- 
pointed one to fatisfy in the room of many, if the furety was not 
in every refpect adequate to the undertaking ? Again, at hU 
inauguration into his mediatorial offices, the divine approbation 
was explicitly given by a voice from the excellent glory, Math, 
iii. 17. This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleafed, 
or in whom I entirely acquiefce, as (by my own appointment) 

the furety of my loft finning people. Again, in his refurredh- 

on from the de-jd, which was an act cf the Father as judge, as 
welt as of the Son as conqueror, he not only exhibited a memo- 
rial of his Deity to the world, (for he was declared to be the Son 
of God by his refurrecVion from the dead, Rom. i. 4} but a moil 
illuftriou$ ^nd convincing aigument of the perfection of his fa- 
crifice to anfwer ail the ends and purpofes of falvation. For if 
he had not in the moft perfect manner and degree, acccmplifhed 
the whole will of the Father refpecting man's redemption ; how 
then can we imagine, that the Father who was judge, and as 
fuch, delivered him up to the death, would have railed him up 
again from the dead ? Can we imagine that the juft judge of all, 
would have either liberated the furety, or the debtor, without a 
plenary fatlsfaction being made, and the debt fully paid ? But 
that the furety is fet free from the bands or death, we are abfo- 
lutely certain; and there are an innumerable company which no 
man can number, now about the throne, who have wafbed their 
robes, and made them white in the blozd cf the Lamb, is as cer- 
fl Heb. iii. 4. Coll i. 19. 20. 

Let, 12. ( 268 ) 

tain. Could we expect amity and reconciliation to take place 
between God and Tinners, upon the account of what Chrift hath 
done, if he muft after all exact the d^-bt, either in whole, or in 
part, of obedience and fuffering at our hand? But the Apoftlc 
cxprefsly informs us that God was in Cbrijt, reconciling the world 
to himfelf: And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to 
himfelf, by Jefus Cbriji. Now, God's bcin^ reconciled to us, 
originates entirely from his approbation of the furety, and his 

Further, as an evidence that he hath fully accomplifhed the 
whole council of Heaven with regard to man's redemption, and 
that fully, without any recourfc had to the obedience and iuffer- 
ings of the creature; is evident alfo from this confederation, viz. 
the Father exalted him with his own right hand, and crowned 
his fufferings with the mod ample reward, Phil, ii 8, 9. &c. 
And being found in fafhion as a man, he humbled himfelf, and 
became obedient unto death, even the death of the crofs. Where- 
fore God hath highly exalted him, and given him a name above 
every name, &c. He is alfo laid to be juftified in the fpirit, 1 
Tim. iii. 16. and raifed again for our j unification, Rom iv. 
25. and why ? Becaufe he was firir. juftified of the Father, as 
having accomplifhed the whole of man's redemption with re 
to purchafe ; and we juftified in him, when by faith, we o-ram 
the plenary remilfion of our fins of which his refurrection from 
the dead was a document and proof. 

Again, let me prove to you rhe perfection of ChrifTs atone- 
ment from the effects afcribed to it in Scripture. If you carefully 
fearch thefe infpircd writings, you will find a three fold eflf.ct as- 
cribed to the obedience and death of Jefus ; which will prove be 
yondadoubt itsabfolute perfection to anfwer all Hie purposes*. of 
our falvation, without having recourfe, either in whole or in parr , 
to our legal obedience, or temporal fufferings; to lay a foundati- 
on for our ju unification and acceptance with an infinitely holy 
and jufr. God. Thefe three bleffed effects are, exfiaticn y rcmi'J: ■ 
0/1, and complete falvation. In thefe three things con fit? the com- 
plete happinefs of the finner. Now, if thefe flow immediately 
from the latisfaction of Jefus muft it not be abfoluiely perfect and 
complete. The perfection of the effect argues the perfection of 
the caufe. And I am fure, that you muft agree with me in this, 
that there is nothing more rcquifite to render you as happy as 
you would wi(h to be, than the expiation of your fins, their actu- 
al remiflion, and a complete falvation : But thefe, every believer 
in Jefus is put in the poffe»fIion of, as the immediate fruit and ef- 
fect of his oledience and death. 


Let. 12. ( 26*9 ) 

If your ftrength would permit, I would crave your attention a 
httie in opening up and explaining the nature of thefe three glo- 
rious, and incftimable blefiings : It may be, that the fpirit of 
wifdom and revelation may enlighten your mind, and eftablifti 
your judgment in this important, and very felf-interefting arti- 
cle. It would be the mod happy day ever dawned on you, if 
that legal principle of pride which (till rin&ures all your religious 
exercifes, and keeps you in a fpirit of bondage was eradicated, 
and you brought to adopt the words of the great Apoftle of the 
Gentiles.— But what things were gain to me, thofe I counted 
lofs for Chrift; yea douhtlefs, I count all things but Iofs, for the 
excellency of Jefus Chrift my Lord: — And be found in him, 
not having mine own righteoufnefs which is of the law, but that 
which is through the faith of Chrift, the righteoufnefs which is 
cf God by faith, f 

Your preient fituation my dear friend, calls aloud upon you 
in a particular manner to fee that your hope for eternal life be 
well founded : In all human probability the period is not far dif- 
tant, when you mud appear before an impartial Judge j and as 
the tree falls, fo it muft lie. 

The firft fruit and effect of Chrift's atonement and fatisfa&ion 
is expiation. This the Scriptures every where teach: Their con- 
ftant and uniform language on this head is, that we obtain a full, 
and complete purgation from all our fins through Chrift's blood. 
When he had by himfclf purged our (ins fat down on the right 
hand of the majefty on high. J This truth is confirmed by the 
lame infpired penman, Heb. ix. 14. How much more fhall 
not the blood of Chrift who through the eternal Spirit offered 
himfclf to God without fpot, purge your consciences from dead 
works, to ferve the living God. This doctrine obtains the Suf- 
frage of another infpired Apoftle, 1 John i. 7. The blood of 
Jefus Chrift his Son cleanfeth us from all (in. Now, obferve 
how the beloved Apoftle joins our communion with God with 
the purgation of our fins, v. 3. This is the immediate fruit and 
effeclofthc former, for how can we have accefs into the pretence 
of an infinitely holy God, if we are ftill lying obnoxious to pu- 
nilhment upon the account of fin's guilt ? 

There is an immediate fruit and effect of expiation taken no- 
tice of by Paul, viz. non-condemnation. || There is therefore 
now no more condemnation to them who are in Chrift Jrfus, &c. 
Who fhall lay any thing to the charge of God's cleft ? Jt is God 
that juftifieth, who is he that condemneth ? It is Chrift that died, 
yea, rather that is rifen again, &c. Do not thefe phrafes plainly 
hold forth the plenary nature of Chrift's fatisfa^ion and merit. 

t Phil iii. 7, 8, 9. X Heb. i. 3. II Rorn. fiii I. 

Let. 12. ( 270 ) 

If believers in Jefus were perfonally purtiited for their tranfpref- 
fions, rhis would argue, that they were ffill in a ftate of condem- 
nation, contrary to the afore- cited texts. But believers properly 
ipeakmg, if they are aftT'cled, yet are not punifhed ; their fufferings 
arc correclivc, not judicial. God may aflrhcl: them as a Father,, 
but he cannot puniih them as a jud^e; for this icaion, the pu- 
mihment of their fin was exacled at the hand of the furety, and 
he gave ample fatisfaction ; and a double fatisfa&ion he will ne- 
ver require, nor a double punifhment will he ever inflicX 

Do you aflt then, why are believers in Jefus obnoxious to fo 
many trials and afflictions in this life ? I aniwer, an infinitely 
holy and all-wife God may, and daily experience teacheth us 
that he doth aftlicl: and chaftiie thofe whom he dearly loves; 
hut for what rcafon ? It is not to fatisfy any claim of divine juf- 
tice, but for the trial and exercife of their faith, patience and hu- 
mility, &c. Their fufferings are by no means any part of their 
juftifying rightcoufnefs, (as you feem mod: erroneoufly to think) 
hut to promote their fan&ihcation and holinefs ; to wean their 
hearts from this prefent evil world; andalfo to make them more 
and more conformable to Jefus their glorious head in all things. 

Another fruit and effect of Chrift's atonement and fatisfa&ion 
is, remifjton. || Now is it not evident, that where a plenary ie- 
miffion of fin takes place, it always prefuppofes a plenary fatis- 
fa&ion given ? Pardon of fin wherever it is granted, is an infe- 
parabte effect of fatisfaffcion. Now if the effect be perfect, fo 
muft the caufe, i. e. if we obtain a perfect plenary remifiion, it 
mud flow from a perfect and complete atonement. 

If you but obfervethe Scripture phrafes on this head, you can- 
not but be convinced, that in the a& of a finner's juftification 
there is a total, thorough and an everlafting removal of his fin, of 
all his fins, paft, prefent, and to come: His pall, 3nd prefent 
fins, by a formal remiflion ; his future offences by a non-impu- 
fation of them. View then the a& of God with regard to par- 
<ton, expreffed in fuch metaphorical terms as thefe; to blot out 
fin ; to cover it from his fight ; not to impute it ; tocaft h behind 
his back ; to caft it into the depths of the fea ; and not to remem- 
ber ir, &c. f Who can with any propriety fay, that the judge 
forgot, caff behind his back, blotted out, and did not impute the 
crime of the guilty criminal, who although, he did not actually 
-condemn him to death, yet fentenced the poor culprit to fuffer a 
variety of the moft grievous punifhments. But our glorious fure- 
ty hath given fuch an ample fatisfacltion in the room of the fin- 


II Eph. i. 7. Heb. ix. 15. Math, xxvl 28. 

f Pfal. xxxii. I, 2, 103, 12. Ifai. xxxviii. 17, 42. 22. 
Micah .vii. 19. Jer/xxxi. 3^. &c* 

Let. 12. ( 271 ) 

ncr, that God the judge will never reckon with htm, cither as 
lo the debt of obedience, or puniihment which he juftly owed to 
his law and juftice. 

The third and laft effect of Chrift's atonement and merit, is 
cemthte falvation. Now, if Chrift for ever perfects them who 
believe by his obedience and death; it will neceffarily follow, 
that thefc mud be every way complete and perfect; feeing: they 
are the foundation and caufc of our chriftian perfection. This is 
Paul's very language on this head, Heb. x. 14. , For by one 
offering he hath for ever perfected them who are fan£tified. The 
term to perfect in this pafTage is ufed here by the Apoftle in op- 
pofition to the Levitical priefthocd and iacrifices, who could not 
by often offering up the lame facrifices take away fin, nor lay 
patent and open the way to Heaven and eternal glory : But in 
this doth the complete falvation of believers confift. The law, 
(the Apoftle obferves) mrde nothing perfect ; becauie it was weak 
through the flefh. f It was impoflible, that by the mod ftrict ob~ 
fervancc either of the moral or ceremonial law, that the guilt of 
fin could be expiated, its filth cleanfed, or an introduction into 
the celeftial manfions procured. But in thefe three things, the 
utmoft felicity of the rational creature confifts. A deliverance 
from fin's guilt, and a partial purgation from its filth conftitutc 
our perfection in a ftate of grace : The former we obtain by jufta- 
fication, the latter in our fanctification. Our perfection in Hea- 
ven confifts, in our admittance into glory, and in our immediate 
enjoyment of the vifion and fruition of God in a ftate of perfe& 
holinefs and happinefs for ever and ever. So that for the pro- 
curement of thefe invaluable bleflings, there is no necefiity for 
any other facrifice; nor is there any room left cither for the fuf- 
fefing or obedience of the creature: Becaufe Chrift, by the effi- 
cacy of his merit and iatisfaction hath actually acquired, and in 
due time really confers, on all them who believe, thefe bleflings 
which he hath by his obedience to the law in his life, and his fa- 
tisfuction to juftice in his death, purchafed. Why do the Scrip- 
tures every where afcribe our abfolution from fin's guik, our pur- 
gation from its filth, and our entrance into glory to the atone- 
ment of Jeius, if it was not abfolutely perfect, and adequate in 
every lelpeCt for fuch glorious ends and purpofes ? And more par- 
ticularly, if our legal obedience and temporal l'ufterings were \o 
nccetfary (a? you ieem to think) for the perfection of the believ- 
er in Jefu ; Why doth not the Holy Ghoft join thefe in theac- 
count ? Why doth he exprefsly reftriciour complete falvation to the 
onefacrifice whichChriftoffereduptoGcdtopiit awayiln, and bring 
in an everlafting righteoufnefs. From the whole [conclude that 


t Heb. vii. 19. Ram. yiii. 3 

Let. 12. ( 272 ) 

the whole of man's falvation asto purchafe, Is fully completed by 
our Lord Jefus; our fins remitted, our consciences purged, and 
an entrance into Heaven procured; fo that nothing is required 
of the believer, either of obedience or fuflFering, as the meritorious 
caufe of his ■juftification before God, but what Chrift hath actu- 
ally accomplifhed. 

" Philemon, it the atonement : and fatisfaction of Jefus be thus 
" perfect and complete to anfwer all the ends and purpofes d fal- 
*' vation independent of any good work of the creature; then, 
" will it not neceiTarily follow, that we are under no ohligati- 
" on of obferving the mora! law ourfeives: Becaufe no demand 
*' can juftly be made on the principal debtor, for what the furety 
*' has performed in his room : And in this cafe then, do not you 
" by your opinion open a door for all manner of licentiouf- 
" nefsr" 

Superhus, this 'san old hackneyed objection againft the doctrine 
of free s:race through the redemption that is'in Chrift Jefus. It 
was objected to Paul by thofe who went about to eftablifh a righ- 
teoufnefs of their own, without fubmittingto the righteoufnefs of 
God. In the fifth chapter of his epiftle to the Romans, he is prov- 
ing there, free justification by the gift of rightcoufnefs, againft 
the legalifts of that a^e, who trufting in their own legal obedi- 
ence 3s the ground of their juftification and acceptance with God, 
derogated from, or rather plainly denied either the perfection, or 
necefiity or Chrift's atonement and merit. For as, (fays the 
infpired Apoftie, Rom. v.) by one man's difobedience many 
were made finners; fo by the obedience of one fhall. many be 
made righteous, v. 19. Whofe obedience is this by which we are 
accounted righteous in God's fight 2 I think you mud anticipate 
me here, by anfwerin^ that it was none but Chrift's; the head 
and furety of the new covenant,- and is here let in oppofition to 
t^c firft Aclam, by whofe difobedience all his natural offspring 
are in God's account reckoned finners. That as fin, (adds he) 
hath reigned umo death, even fo might grace reign through 
righteoufnefs unto eternal life, through Jefus Chrift our Lord* 
V- 22. 

This doctrine was too evangelical, and fo inimical to the in- 
rereib of legal pride in the heart of a finner; that upon the pubj 
iication of it, he is immediately branded with the odious charac? 
ter of a teacher of licentioufnefs. That their objection raifed 
againft the doctrine of free grace was of a like nature with yours* 
we learn from chap. vi. v. 1, 2. What (hall we fay then? 
Shall we continue in fin that grace may abound; i. e. (hall we 
live as we lift, and do what we plcafe, fince there is a complete 
and p'enary fatisfa&ion made by the Son of God to anfwer all 


Let. 12. ( 273 ) 

the ends and purpofes of falvation without our obedience to the 
law, cither in whole or in part. The Apoftle anfwers this vile 
obje&ioa in tenns expreifive of the greateft deteftation. God 
forbid : Shall we continue in fin, that grace may, or becaufe grace 
doth abound, and that to the very chief of finners, through the 
gracious ordination and appointment of God in the fubftitution 
of his S^n as our furctv, to fulfil all rightcoufnefs in our room ? 
God forbid: How (hall we that are dead to fin, live any longer 
therein ? In his epiftlc to Titus he exhorts him to be inftant in 
preifing upon chriftians the practice of holinefs, and enforces his 
exhortation from the revelation made of the grace of God in our 
falvation, by the gofpe!: For, (fays he) the grace of God which 
bringeth falvation to all men, teacheth us to deny all ungodli- 
nefs, and worldly lufts, and live foberlv, righteoufly, and godly, 
in this prcfent world. Tit. ii. 11, 12. The grace of God, 
i. e. the gofpel of God's grace; that gofpel which informs the 
moft unworthy, the moll: vile and abandoned, that the blood of 
Jcfus Chrift God*s Son eleanfeth from all fin : And that by faith 
applying the atonement and fatisfa&ion of Jefus, finners of this 
description are conftituted righteous in the light of God. Now 
this gofpel of God's grace is fo far from being inimical to the in- 
terefts of holinefs, and the practice of piety, that, at the fame 
time in which Chrift and his atonement is revealed, and held 
forth as the immediate object of juftifying faith; it ftrongly in- 
culcates, and ftrenuoufly prefles, holinefs of life and convcr- 

But to be a little more particular here, let me obferve, that 
our obedience to the law of God may be confidered either, as the 
duty of the rational creature to his fovereign Lord ; or as a con- 
dition upon which eternal life is fufpended ; or in other words as 
the ground and foundation of a finners juftification before God. 
In this view Chrift was made under the law, and fulfilled it for all 
his feed; fo that as a covenant of works, the believer in Jefus is 
not under it, andasfuch, it neither doth, nor can, require obe- 
dience as the ground and reafon of his juftification before God. 
But in the former refpe& the believer owes all mrnner of obedi- 
ence to it ; and his obligation to obedience is rather increafed 
than diminilhed by this inftancc of Chrift's love in giving a full 
and complete fatisfa6tion to the law in all its demands in the fin- 
ner's room. And you will find, that wherever true faith lays 
hold on Jefus as the propitiation for fin, the believer finds him- 
feff prompted to all manner of gofpel obedience, not only from a 
lenfe of duty, but privilege. He cannot but acknowledge him 
For his Lord who has purchalcd him for himfclf with his own 


Let. T2. ( 274 ) 

blood ; and that as an adopted Son, he can decline no obedience 
to his heavenly Father, when he confiders how cheerfully and 
cordially his Eternal Son fulfilled his will. " The love of Chrifl 
conflraineth us." 

It is flrange Superbus, that you do not at firfl fight fee the vafl 
difference between the obedience of Chrifl: to the law, and that 
of believers. God never exa&s of his people obedience to his 
precepts as the foundation of their reception into his favour, and 
their final and complete falvation: This was exacted of the 
furety; this he voluntarily gave: For by the obedience of one 
fhall many be made righteous. An infinitely holy and jufl God 
wi|| by no means renew the exaclion; and call upon the feed of 
Chrifl: to obey, and fulfil that law which their furety did in 
their room and (lead. God calls upon his juflified and fan&ified 
people to give a cheerful and ready obedience to his whole reveal- 
ed will, not, that they may live; but becaufe they do live: Not, 
that by their obedience or good works they may acquire a right 
to the heavenly inheritance, but to make them meet to enter up- 
on the poffetfion of that inheritance already purchafed; not as 
the caufe of their inheriting the kingdom, but as the way to it. || 
Without holinefs no man fhall fee the Lord. Becaufe Chrifl by 
his obed.ence and death purchafed the forfeited inheritance, is 
the proper and fole caufe why any are admitted into that celeflial 
region where the king the Lord of hods is feen in the fulnefs of 
his glory. — The way to the pofTeffiort is holinefs of heart, life, 
and conversation. 

How horrid and antifcriptural would this pofition be, yea how 
derogatory to the glory of the Mediator, to maintain that by 
Chrifl' s obedience to the law, ours is not only relaxed, hut en- 
tirely fuperfeded. This wouldmake him the minifler of fin with 
a witnefs. It is true indeed, as I jufl now hinted, that the law 
in its covenant-form has no demand upon the believer in Jelus to 
fulfil its precepts in order to acquire eternal life; in this fenfe he 
is not under the law, but under grace: Chrifl was made under 
the law to redeem fuch who were under the law, that they might 

receive the adoption of Sons. But the law as a rule of life 

a id duty, no (late of grace or ulory in their highefl eminence 
ami nerfc&ign can exempt the creature from yielding the inofl 
P?rfe&, conllant, and unremitting obedience to whatever the 
iAW enjoins. 

It is flrange Si'ferbut, that you would urge a plea in your juilt- 
ficat ion. before God which would in the end tend to your ever* 


II It was an obfervation of Bernard, that God required obedience 
and good works from his people. ~\on ut uiufa regnandi; fed ut via 

Let. 12. ( 275 ) 

tailing- confuf.on. You feem at prefent to be fo elated with your 
by-part conduct, as in the words of the proud Pharifee to thank 
God that you neither are, nor have been as other men ; you 
feem to build en this that you have been no extortioner, no adul- 
terer, you have rendered to every one his due ; you have failed, 
you have prayed, you have paid rirhes of all you pofTefs : Thefe 
things a-c all grod, and characterise of the genuine chriflian. 
God in his law hath enjoined ail thefeon you, and every rational 
creature. But is it on the footing of thefe things that God hath 
promi fed, or that you expect eternal life ? You may believe me, 
however neceflary good works are in their own place, they are 
no pan of a finner's juftifying righteoufnefs before God. I hope 
you mav ^e vet brought to entertain other views cf yqjxr moral 
obedience, and of that imperfection which cleaves to your heft 
and moft fincere fervices. You may reft allured my dear friend 
that even thefe are fo far from laying a foundation for you to 
build on tor eternal life, that if God was ftrict to mark iniquity 
arrainft you, and enter into judgment with you, he would in 
juftice condemn you for the finful failures which have attended 
you in thole very 'fervices which you deem might recommend you 
to his favour, and entitle you to eternal life. May the grace cf 
God open your eyes to fee the all-fufficiency and perfc3:ion of 
-ChriiVs atonement and merit in fuch a light, as to adopt the 
language of the church for yourfelf. " 1 am as an unclean 
thing, and all my righteoufneffes are as filthy rags," 

- Philemon, I would wifh to know wherein lies; the difference 
" between the obedience which the law as a covenant, and as a 
" rule of life in the hand of a Mediator, requires." 

J anfwer Superbut, that th_ obedience required by the law 23 a 
.covenant, mull be performed in our own ilrength: For the law 
as fuch, neither knows, nor can direct to any ad extripCca 
the perfon's felf. On the other hand, as a rule of duty in the 
Mediator's hand, the obedience it requires is the fruit of the fpi- 
rit of God dwelling in the heart of the believer \n Jefus ; it flows 
from a new vital union to him, by whom, and through whom, 
wc can do all things, and without whom we can do nothing, ei- 
ther glorifying to God, or advantageous to ourlelves. Do you 
imagine, or can you feriouflv he-ieve, that as a defcendant of 
fallen Adam, there is yet in you, or any of his natural offspring 
fuch a ftock of fpiritual ftrength, as to anfwer the laws demand 
of obedience for eternal life ? And if there is not, you never can 
obtain the purchafed poiTeflion but by faith in ChrrtVi blood. 

J! Gal. v a!. 

Let. 12. ( 276 ) 

The law like its glorious author is immutable; it changes not 
with mutable and fallible man: If he loft his power to fulfil its 
demands, it ftill retains its authority to enjoin, and that under 
penalty of the curfe. But the ability of the believer in Jefus to 
render an evangelical obedience to all God's commandments is 
unqueftionablc: God writes his law in his heart ; his body is the 
temple of the Holy Ghoft, and his foul the fubject of his graci- 
ous operations: Moreover his flock of grace and ftrcngth is trea- 
fured up in Jefus, from whofe fulnefs, he receives and grace for 

Again, with regard to the obedience which the law as a cove- 
nant requires, God appears in the garb of a juft, righteous, and 
holy judge, demanding perfection of obedience, or threatning 
the delinquent with death, and that upon the lead breach. Curl- 
ed is every one that continueth not in all things written in the 
book of the law to do them. \ But on the other hand, in the obe- 
dience required by the law in the hand of a Mediator, we behold 
God clothed with the amiable and endearing relation of a mer- 
ciful and propitious Father in the Lord Jefus Chrift: And out of 
his infinite clemency and companion accepting our perfons, and 
fervices, gracioufly pardoning our defective obedience, and reck- 
oning our fincere endeavours gofpel -perfection. 

In a word, the law as a covenant requires obedience tinder the 
notion of debf, in order to merit eternal life; but in the hand 
of a Mediator, it requires obedience under the notion of grati- 
tude ; to exprefs our thankfulnefs to God for all the bleffings of 
his providence and grace ; particularly, for bellowing on us the 
title, and conferring on us the privileges of his children. 

I think Superbus, that nothing but the moft inveterate preju- 
dice againft the doctrine of free juftification through the atone- 
ment and fatisfa&ion of Jefus, could ever move any one to en- 
tertain the leaft fufpicion, that it opens a door for licentioufnefs, 
and relaxes the creature's diligence in holinefs and virtue: Of, 
that where fuch a doctrine is propagated and credited, nothing 
but vice and immorality will be the confequence. We could 
wim that fnch would, without partiality read the Scriptures, and 
wuhout preJLdkx view the moral conduct of itfprofeflbrs. 

Bear with mc for a moment, in taking a curl'ory view of the 
whole piogreU of God's grace in man's falvation, and I hope to 
make it appear from the Scriptures of truth, and that with the 
Srtateft pcripicuity and evidence, that the whole of the divine 
conduct from firft to laft, has a fpecial regard to the fan edification. 
and holinefs of the-finncr. Wherefore were we redeemed, and 
bought with a price ? But to ferve God in holinefs and rightc- 

t Gal. iii. 10. 

Let. 12. ( 277 ) 

ournefs without fear all the days of our life. || Why did Chrifl 
hear our fins in his own body on the tree ? But that we being 
dead to fin might live unto righteoufnefs. f Why are our guilty 
conferences fprinkled with his mod precious blood ? But to purge 
them from dead works to ferve the living God : J And that eve- 
ry one might know how to poiTefs his vefTel in fan&ification and 
honour. Why are we made his workmanfhip, created in Chrift 
Jefus ? But to walk habitually in all godly converfation. Why 
are we called out of darknefs into his marvellous light ? But to 
mow forth the praifes, (the virtues) of him who hath vouchfafed 
to make us fharers of this invaluable blefiing. Were we chofen 
in him before the foundation of the world ? Was it to live as we 
pleafe, and a& in oppofition to all the rules of morality and virtue ? 
No: But we were chofen that we might be holy, and without 
blame before him in love, Eph. i. 4. And were we not cho- 
fen from the beginning to fan&ification of the Spirit, and be- 
lief of the truth? 2 ThefT. ii, 13. Why are finners juftified, 
and their fins pardoned ? But that, being gracioufly delivered 
from fin's guilt, they fljould not turn again to folly. Why arc 
we called, to be in due time made partakers of his glory ? Bnt 
that, as the mean for obtaining this end, we might be holy as 
God is holy. 1 Pet. i. 18. — ^-1 may obferve here, that the 
two great benefits of j unification and fan edification, are fo inse- 
parably connected, that wherever the former takes place, the lat- 
ter inevitably follows. No man is juftified, without at the fame 
time being in part fancfified : None are delivered from fin's guilt, 
hut who are at the fame time cleanfed from its filth. Chrift, 
who is made unto us righteoufnefs, is alfo made at the fame time 
fan&ification. He came by water and blood; by blood, for the 
expiation of fin's guilt ; by water, for the purgation of its filth. 
The r e were under the old covenant the two great mediums of 
propitiation and purgation ; In allufion probably to this, there 
came forth from the pierced fide of Jeius, blood and water. John 
xix. 34. In a word, why are we maJe new creatures r But 
that we mould no longer walk in the oldnefs of the letter, but in 
the newnefs of the fpirit. Rom. vii. 6, and vi. 14. 

Pardon me my dear friend, if I mould enquire a little further 
into this fubject and fee whether, to hold forth falvation by 
the death and atonement of Jefus without any work of the crea- 
ture, has the leaft tendency to the introduction of immorality 
into the world; or rather the contrary, i. e. that there cannot 
poffibly exift, a more powerful argument to all manner of holi- 
nefs, than flows from this very do&rine, believed, and applied. 

» Luke i; 74. f 1 Pet. ii. 24. 

X Hcb. ix. 14. 1 ThelT. iv. 4 

Ler. 12. ( 278 ) 

And here let us confidcr one great end of the death of Chrift: 
He was lent into the world clothed in our human nature, not on- 
ly to he 1 propitiation for fin, hut tofancYity the (inner: Not on- 
ly to give men a title to Heaven and glory in their juflifkation, 
hut to purge their consciences, purify their natures, and render 
them meet to he partakers of the inheritance of the Saints in light : 
To fet them an example which they ought to imitate and follow. 
See this particular end of ChrifPs death Specified hy Paul in his 
epiftle to Titus, chap. ii. v. 14. Who gave himfelf for us, 
that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and fo eternally deli- 
ver from the guilt of fin, and afcertain an undouhted title to the 
hea-venly inheritance: But adds this inSpircd Apoftle, to purify 
unto himfelf a peculiar people, zealous of good works. To 
maintain therefore, that to preach up one end of ChritVs incarna- 
tion and death, viz. redemption from all iniquity, by his atone- 
ment, is deftru&ive of another great end of it, fan edification and 
holinefs, is fomewhat odd. Did he die for fin, to finifh tranfgref- 
fion by the facrifice of himfelf, that we might live in fin ; and 
not rather, that wc mould be eternally divorced both from the 
love and pra£iice of it ? Paul we find entertains quite other views 
of this matter than many Seem to have; he informs us that a 
freedom from the guilt of fin, not only gives a title to be the 
Servants of righteoufnefs, but a capacity to aft as fuch. Being 
then made free from fin, ye became the Servants of righteoulncfs. 
But now being made free from fin, and become fervants to 
God, ye have your fruit unto holinefs, and the end everlafting 
life. II 

Do you imagine Superbus, that if you had been Sold for a flave, 
or had forfeited your life by the laws of your country, tor Some 
capital crime, but by the kind interpofition of a friend you were 
releafed from the former, and laved from the latter; would this 
kind and generous a& of your friend afford you any handle againft 
him, to fill your mind with refentment, and on every occafion, 
and whenever it lay in your power, to provoke and offend him r* 
Did not Chriff, the befl and mod generous friend ever exited 
interpofe for us, when in captivity to fin and Satan, and graci- 
oufly paid down our ranfom ? Did he not by his blood purchafc 
our redemption, and by his heavenly do£trine proclaim liberty 
to the captives, and the opening of the prifon to them that are 
bound ? To Save finners from death, he died, he gave his life a 
ranfom for many. He died to fancVify and purify to himfelf a 
peculiar people. To inform finners of thefe great gofpel-truths, 
to inculcate faith in the atonement ofjefus; is this the way 
think you to turn the world upfide down, to open a wide door, 

H Rom. vi. 18, 22. 

Let. 12. C 279 ) 

and an efFc&ual for the practife of every fpecies of iniquity ? 
Do you think that the glad news which Chrift brought the leper 
of his being cleanied, would he improven by him as an argu- 
ment for his future offending that kind and gracious phyfician ? 
Behold thou art made whole, go and fin no more. || You 
may believe my dear friend, a genuine believer never will 
defeat this great end of Chrifl's death, fan deification and ho- 

Thefe will be the native reflections of his heart, the genuine 
effufions of his foul. ?? Did Jefus become incarnate, obey, 
" and gave full fatisfa&ion both to the law precept and penalty 
" for me; were my (ins made to meet on him, and for their ex- 
" piation did he fuffer and die ; and fhali I recognize this gra- 
t€ cious condefcenfion, and unparalleled love of the mod gene- 
♦' rous and companionate Saviour, only, to provoke him the 
" more, becaufe he hath done and fuffcred fo much forme: 
" No; God forbid: Let me rather walk foftly all the days of 
f< my life in the bitternefs of my foul, for being guilty of thofe 
l« crimes which brought the Son of God, my Redeemer, to the 
(t accurfed tree, and to the dull: of death: Shall I fin becaufe 
M grace doth abound ; and abounded towards me?" Whoever 
will thus improve the docVme of free juftificat ion by Chrift's 
atonement, the believer in Jefus never will. 

Again let us confider, whole we are by right of redemption. 
By whom we are redeemed, his we are, to ferve and obey : This 
is the law of redemption amon; r men. Much more are we oblig- 
ed by right of redemption to ferve and glorify God in our fouls 
and bodies, which are his. This is the language of Zacharias 
Luke i. 74. That we being delivered out of the hands of our 
enemies, might ferve him without fear, in holinefs and righte- 
oufnefs, all the days of our life. Thefe words not only point out 
the obligation incumbent on the redeemed, but the fpiri- 
tual capacity conveyed by redemption, and contained in its 
very nature; whereby the raufomed of the Lord are enabled to 
the evangelical performance oi every duty which the law enjoins. 
The fame cjo&rine is taught by Paul, 1 Cor. vi. 20. Ye are 
redeemed with a price, therefore glorify God in your fouls and 

bodies, which are his. q. d. " Confider O ye Corinthians, 

" what ye once were, in a ftate of the mod abject flavery, and 
" bondage to fin, Satan, and the world; but God who is rich 
" in mercy, out of the depths of his infinite fovereign love and 
" giace, fent his Son into the world, who gave himfelf up to 
" the death for you, died to purchafe you to himfelf; and confi- 
•• tier, bv this aftonifhing ad of the Son of God, he hath pur- 

" chafed 
II John v. 14. 

Let. 12. ( 2to ) 

<c chafed you for himfelf, and ye are no more your own; your 
" fouls and bodies are his. You cannot at your own plcafure 
'• alienate without the guilt offaCrilege what belongs to God. 
" By right of redemption, God has a right to your fervi- 
" ces." Now, do you think from this account of our redemp- 
tion by Jefus that there is any encouragement given to the re- 
deemed of the Lord to difpofc of what is the Lord's, to the fer- 
vice of (in and Satan ? 

Again let us confider the invaluable blefling of pardon confer- 
red on the believer. I am fure you mud agree with me in this, 
that the more and the greater the blefiings communicated from a 
gracious God to the (inner are, he is the more obligated to render 
all manner of holy obedience to that bountiful giver. Our Lord 
teaches us this doctrine in exprefs terms in the cafe of Mary 
Magdalen, and inculcates the fame mode of behaviour upon all 
fuch as are juftified and have obtained the invaluable blefling of 
pardon and remiflion, which this woman puifued. Luke vii. 47. 
Her fins which are many, are forgiven, forme loved much: For 
to whom little is forgiven, the fame lovcth little.— Would it 
'not feem ftrange Superbus, fuch reafoning as this, in the mouth 
of a genuine believer? " God hath in his infinite mercy par- 
" doned my tranfgreflions; tranfgreflions numberlefs as the 
*' hairs on my head, countlefs as the particles of fand on the 
" fca ihore; and in their aggravations reaching the very Hea- 
" vens ? Therefore I may goon for the future in adding iniqui- 
** ty to fin, for there is ftill mercy with God that he may be 
t( feared, and fumcient value in the atonement of Jefus for all 
" my future debts." No, let others reafon as they will, and 
act as they choofc, this is far from being the conduct of the ge- 
nuine believer. Hear his language on this head : '■* Shall I thus 
requite the Lord; I know he fpeaks peace to his people, and to 
his Saints in gracious remiflion, but at the fame time, he hath 
left the mofl folemn charge upon them not to turn again to fol- 
ly." Do you think that God in the difpenfation o l his grace to 
nnners confers any blefling on them which might in the iflue, 
prove a ftumbling-block to them, or open a doof for their more 
freely provoking the eyes of his glory ? You fhudder I fee at the 
very idea; and no wonder, this would be in direct terms laying 
fin at the Almighty's door. I a& again, whether or not was 
there ever a real chriftian, who through faith in Chrift's blood 
received the atonement, and becaufehe had done fo, paid no 
regard to his future conduct, but run on in an habitual courfe of 
wickednefs ? I aver Superbus, never fuch a man was found in the 
vifiblc church, never had God fuch a Son in his family; nor 
Ch rift fuch a member in his myfticaj body. As 'God confers 


Let. 12. ( • 28l ) 

£race with a view to the obedience, and future of the 
finner, fo doth he cordially accept of the favour with the fa^se 
view. The defl^n of God, and the resolution of the Jinner in 
this cafe arc identically the fame. 

Again let me offer to your confederation another article fecur- 
ing the interefts of holinefs upon the golpel fcheme of falvat.on 
through Chris's atonement, viz. the grievous natuie of his iuf- 
fcrings, and the abominable nature of fin. If the pavnjent of 
our debt coft Chrift fo dear, (hail we take encouragement from 
this to add to the enormous fum. Shall we take encourage- 
ment from this that Chrift fufFered,.and that his fufferinss were 
fo grievous, tocherifti in our hearts, or pra&ife in our lives, thole 
crimes which fubjecled the Son of God to fuffer fo much for their 
expiation ? If fin he of fuch a deep dye, andcrimfon colour, that 
nothing but the blood of Jefus could warn out, fhall the justified 
in Chrift Jefus, take encouragement prefumptuoufly and deli- 
berately to wallow in it for the future, as the few in the mire, 
and return to it as the dog to his vomit ? God forbid j this would 
be with a witnels to crucify the Son of God afrefh, and put him 
to an open (hame; to trample under foot the blood of the cove- 
nant, and count it an unholy thing. No my dear friend, inftcad 
of fuch conduct in a believer, the univerlal tenor of his prance 
and conversation evinces the contrary. When at any time 
he through the weaknefs and imperfection of his nature, or the 
temptations of Satan a&a contrary to the obligations which lie on 
him from his high calling, we will always find him looking to 
Jclus, whom he by his fins hath thus pierced, and 

Let me put you in mind of another confideration on this head; 
v z. the greatnefs, the immenfe greatnefs of the Jove of God to- 
wards Gnners h this the way think you, to encourage licenti- 
oufnef:, to hold forth the height, breadth, the depth, and the length 
ot the love rf God; and proclaim the love of Chrift which paf- 
teth knowledge? What unparalleled love was this in the Eternal 
Father, to fend h.s beloved and only begotten Son into our 
w^rld, not to be a Ipectator of our mifery, but to be made fin, 
and a curie for utK Made the arrows of his indignation ftick fall 
in his holy innocent foul ; brought him to the duft of death in 
the moft cruel and ignominious manner, and all this out of pure 
difintcrefted love and aflre&ion for nnners: This was the impulfive 
caufe, ?' God fo loved the world that he gave his only begotten 
§on, that whofoeverbelieveth on him might not perifh, hut have 
evcrlafting life." Now, from thefe considerations, is it poflibje 
that a believer in Jefus fhould repay evil for good, hatred for 
love; cherifh and foment thofe lufts, for the expiation of which, 
the great God out of his tranfeendent love made his Eternal Son 
to fuffer ? " The love of Chrift conftraincth us, lecaufc we thus 


Let. 12. ( 282 ) 

judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead; that they who 
live, fhould no longer live to themfelves, but unto him who died 
for them and rofe again." 

From thefe confederations Superbus, may we not with the 
greateft truth and fafety aver, that maintaining and believing 
the perfection and neceffity of Chrift's atonement and fatisfafti- 
on for all the ends and purpofes of falvation, is a doctrine, fo far 
from encouraging licentioufnefs, that it will be found in the iftue,. 
to be the moft efficacious motive, and the moft prevailing argu- 
ment, for the practice of every moral virtue propounded in the 
divine law to mankind: And not only fo, but is the only fove- 
reign medicine for the healing and removal of all our fpiritual 
maladies; is that from which pardon of, and prefervation from a 
courfe of back-fltding is fecured. 

There are not any two articles in all divine revelation which 
agree more harmonioufly, nor are better founded, than the 
atonement of Chrift for our fins, and the abfolute neceffity foe 
all manner of holy obedience in the juftificd in Chrifl Jefus. 
How indiflblvab'ly connected, and how amicably do they con- 
fpire to promote, carry on, and finally to perfect the falvation of 
the miner. Without Chrift's death as a propitiatory facrmee for 
(in, we could have no title to Heaven, and without holinefs, we 
could have no meetnefs for it. What an egregious miftake then 
mull it be, to inculcate holinefs or good works in order to pro- 
cure a title to eternal life. Our good works can have no inffcj- 
ence in the leaft degree in our 'unification before God. They 
are not, neither can they be, the meritorious caufe for which wr 
obtain the remimon of our fins, and the acceptation of our per- 
fons, and a title and right to the heavenly inheritance. || But at 
the fame time, and while believers are in an imperfect ftate, we 
are to urge, and from all the arguments in divine revelation, to 
prefs holinefs upon men as the way to the kingdom. How is it 
poffible, that a man who lives in the glorious pcriuafion of ChriiVs 
fatisfacYion for fin, and for his in particular, and is looking out 
and longing for a hie (Ted immortality, can perfift in a courfe of 
iniquity, and neglect the ftudy and practice of holinefs ? 

I fhould have converfed a little farther with you on this fub- 
je&, if your fpirits and ftrength had not been fo much exhaufted 
as I find they are : If the Lord will, I will wait on you to-morrow 
for this purpofe. Adieu in the mean time my dear friend; may 
the fpirit of truth lead you intoall truth, and difcover to you this 
moft cheering, and important truth, that Chrift died for the un- 
godly ; and died not only to purchafe the forfeited inheritance, 
but by his all-atoning blood to fanefcify and make meet for that 

H Rom. xi. 6. Eph. ii. 7. S. 

Let. 12. ( 283 ) 

holy place. May you he brought, in the like full aflurartce of 
faith to acbpt tUe language of Paul, " who loved me and gave 
himfclf for me." 

I am afraid Ouefimus, that you are quite out of humour at the 
length of this epiftfe: And if it was no« that I regard your fpiri- 
tual welfare, and look upon myfelf under the deeped: obligations 
to promote, by all means in my power, your fpiritual growth in 
virtue and holinefs; I fhould certainly have fupprefTed the fore- 
going conversation with Superbus. If you receive the lead ad- 
vantage from it, my labour will be abundantly recompenfed; and 
that this maybe the iflue, is the fiheert wifti of your's, &e. 



Dear Onefimus, 

A Ccording to my engagement with Svperbus I waited on him 
**■ ycfterdav. I find his diforder is making a rapid progrefs : 
It feems to baffle every effort of the pnyficians. How brittle is 
this clay tabernacle of ours: From our earlieft infancy, the feedi 
of diforders and wafting difeales lurk in our conftitution. € * We 
are born to trouble as the fparks fly upward." " Man that is 
born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble." How 
fhould thofe troubleiome few days be employed by frail mortal 
man, to the befl: advantage, and for the bell of purpofes. How 
fhould that fhort fpace in which we enjoy health and ftrength, be 
im proven with a view to days of adverfny, ficknefs, and death. 
Let the gay* the healthy recollect but for one moment, that in a 
few years, perhaps a few days, or hours, their profperous date in 
this fublunary world will come to a period. Yes, the days are 
raft approaching in which we fhall fay there is no pleafure in them. 
And when the days determined for us are finimed, and the num- 
ber of the months allotted for us by an all-wife providence are 
come to a period; then we mud go the way whence we mail ne- 
ver return until the Heavens be no more. Every returning day- 
has certainly a loud call to us, to be laying up for ourfclves trea- 
fures in Heaven, where neither moth nor rufl: doth corrupt, and 


Let. 13. ( 284 ) 

where thieves break not through to (leal. We have no certainty 
of another day, no, nor another hour. How often do we hear 
of fomc of our fellow creatures cut off in a moment, by fome un- 
forefeen accident: We know not, but this may be the manner 
in which our courfe may be finifned. The language of fuch a 
providence is certainly alarming ; it undoubtedly befpeaks us af- 
ter this manner, " be ye alfo ready, for in an hour you 
cxpeft not the great Arbiter of life and death may come." Ei- 
ther this way, or by pining ficknefs God will bring each of us to 
death. To anticipate in our thought thefe gloomy days, is by 
no means an evidence of a diftempcred brain, nor an cnthufi- 
aftic turn of mind 5 but a very ftrong proof that we are engaged 
as rational, mortal, and accountable creatures fhould be 

What is it my dear Oveftmus, that is capable of Toothing the 
mind, and proving a fuflicient antidote againft that fear and anx- 
iety which naturally feizes every thinking man, upon a fcri- 
ous reflection on ficknefs and death ? I know of no better anti- 
dote than faith in the atonement and fatisfa&ion of Jefus. I am 
afraid too many in order to difpel their fears of death and judg- 
ment fly into this fan&uary: Tbey have lived a good life. Jam 
perfuaded my dear friend you would rather meet the king of ter- 
rors, and combat this lad enemy, in the words of Paul; «« 1 know 
whom I have believed, and that he is able to keep that which I 
have committed to him againft that day." When the beloved 
difciple was overwhelmed at that glorious, and tremendous ap- 
pearance which he had of Jefus, he fell down at his feet as dead : 
In order to revive his troubled mind, to chafe away his fears, and 
revive the fpirit of his fervant, Jefus laid his hand i>pon him, 
fpoke comfort to his dillracled mind from the confederation of his 
own death, and refurre&ion. Fear not, I am he that was dtad, 
and behold I am alive for evermore, and have the keys of" hell and 
of death. || You fee the topic our Lord choofes to infift upon, in 
orderto exhilarate the fpirit of a deje&cd Apoftle, and to pour the 
balm of confolation into hia fearful mind, is taken from his death 
and refurre&ion. If ever we would with to fee our fellow crea- 
tures, and our fellow-finners, dying comfortably and fafely as 
chriftians and believers, let us hold forth to them the propitiatory, 
and vicarious death, and the glorious refurre&ion of the Son of 
God our Saviour. 

Oneftmus, after converting a few minutes with Supefbus with 
regard to his prefent diforder, and the uncertainty of every fublu- 
nary enjoyment ; he propofed, according to my promife to open 
up, and explain a little farther the nature and neCeffity of holi- 
nefs. " You know, (faid he) that I was ftill an advocate 

H Rev. i. 17, 18. 

Let. 13. (' 285 ) 

4( for good works, and for their efficiency and efficacy in the 
" matter of a (inner' s jujiification before God, and to entitle him 
" to glory. I would wifh to know how you fecure the interefts 
" of holinefs, and what place good works occupy, upon what you 
" call the gofpel plan ; or, holinefs in connexion with the fatif- 
" ra&ioii and atonement of Chrift, meritorioufly purchaling par- 
4t don, reconciliation, and complete redemption." 

My dear Superbus, I voluntarily and freely undertake the tafk 
I impofed on myfelf ; and mod cheerfully embrace the prefent 
opportunity-, to convince you, that thofe whoexped and look for 
falvation through the blood of Jefus, are by no means enemies, 
(as they have been fometimes unjuftly branded) to golpel holi- 
ness: Yea, that they are fo far from maintaining that the obedi- 
ence of the furety fuperfedes our obedience to the law as a rule 
of life, they every where, and on all occafions, Arenuoufly main- 
tain, and that in an agreeablenefs to the language of the Holy 
Ghoft on this fubject; that without holinefs no man (hall fee the 

But to he fomewhat more particular here ; thofe who maintain 
the neceffity of Chrift's obedience and death, as the meritorious 
and procuring caufc of our redemption, and final falvation; 
maintain at the fame time that there is fuch a neceflity for ho- 
linefs of hea?t, life, and converfation, that without it, it is va«n 
toexpe& to behold God's face in glory, f And at the fame time al- 
fo, they affert, that wherever faith in the atonement andfatisfa£hon 
of Jefus takes place, for the purgation of the conscience from dead 
works, you will as foon find fire without heat, or the fun without 
light, as you will find fuch a man without holinefs. So that 
holinefs is as neceflary in the formation and confhtution of the 
chriftian, as light is to the being of the fun, or heiit to the exil- 
tence of fire. 

But on the other hand, they maintain that the/e is nothing of 
caufality or efficiency in any good work ol the creature, for me- 
ritorioufly procuring falvation. || This was the fole work of the 
one Mediator: His own arm meritorioufly brought about falva- 
tion. To him alone, the glory of ouv falvation from rrft to lall 
belongs. The fame blood by which we are juftificd, is that by 


t A man cannot poflibly fall into a greater delufion, than to expect 
falvation, and future happinefs, and yet living in the neglect of com- 
manded duty; or *n the habitual practice of any known fin. Heaven 
will never be compofed of fuch chriftians, if they deferve the name. 

!l Good works are a conditio Jine qua non, as Div'nes term it, but 
not the cmufa efficiens of a nun's falvation, i. e. we cannot be faved 
without .good works, but yet they do not procure it. 

Let. 13. ( 286 ) 

which we arc fan&ified. " For Jefus that he might fancVrfy the 
people fuftercd without the gate." What a ftrange thing after all* 
to talk of the efficiency or caufality of good works in the matter of 
our falvation. This is the great error my dear friend, you la- 
bour under at prefent ; you are for placing your good works in 
the room of Chrifl's atonement and merit, and look upon your 
legal obedience as the channel through which all divine commu- 
nications flow. If any good work of the creature could be effec- 
tive in procuring Heaven and eternal glory, it is hard to account 
for the extreme fufferings of the Son of God. But that there u 
no fuch thing as merit on the part of the creature J (hall (how you 
by and bye. 

Again, thofe who maintain the neceflity of Chrifl's atonement 
and fatisfaction as the only, and alone meritorious caule of our 
juftification before God; do alfo aflert and maintain theahfolute 
neceflity of good works as a mean for accomplishing our final 
falvation ; and in this view, they afTert that there is a neceflary 
connexion and dependance eftablifhed berween holinefs, and fi- 
nal falvation ; fo as, in the very nature of the thing holinefs rauft 
neceflarily precede the final falvation of our fouls, and render us 
meet to be partakers of that glory which is in a little to be reveal- 
ed. Holinefs 1 apprehend will be found to be a principal in- 
gredient in Heaven's happinefs; at leaft, I fuppofe it is that which 
will give a zeft and relilh for that good which God hath laid up 
for them that fear him. 

I may obferve to you here, that there is a twofold neceflity: A 
neceflity arifing from the nature of the things; and a neceflity 
founded only upon the precept, or in other words upon the fole 
good pleafure of the ligiflator. In this fenfe the obfervation of the 
whole ceremonial law was neceflarily binding on the whole body 
of the jewifh nation: Under the New Teftament difpenfatian 
the facramentsof baptifm, and the Lord's fupper are enjoined on 
us by the fame authority, and their obfervation neceflarily bind- 
ing. But obferve here, that holinefs confidered as a mean for 
obtaining complete falvation, doth not fo much depend upon the 
will of the law-giver, as it is founded in the very nature of things; 
and in a reciprocal and mutual relation to one another, e. g. 
faith we commonly fay is a neceflary mean of falvation; not on- 
ly becaufe God hath enjoined it, but becaufe there is a neceflary 
indiflblvable connexion between faith and falvation, fo as with- 
out it falvation cannot be expected, neither in the nature of the 
thing can be conferred. Now, good works are neceflary in 
both thefe refpe&s: In refpeft of the precept, becaufe they arc 
enjoined by God, and therefore are neceflarily to be performed 
.by us, becaufe commanded. They are alfo abfoluttly ncceiEjiy 

Let. 13. ( 287 ) 

as a mean, becaufe they are indifpenfably conne&ed with falvati- 
oii. " Without holinefs no man (Hall fee the Lord." This 
neceflity of holinefs arifes both from the precept enjoining it, 
and is alfo founded in the very nature of the thing; good works 
arc every where enjoined, and prefied upon finners in the whole 
word of God. This is the will of God even your fan&ification ; 
that every one of you fhould know how to poffefs his vefTel in 
fan&ification and honour. || Let your light fo fhine before men, 
that others feeing your good works may glorify your Father which 
is in Heaven, -j- Believers are oftentimes called debtors, which 
they never could be, but with reference to that obedience which 
ihey necefTarily owe to the command of God. 

In order to let you fee in what fenfe believers may be called 
debtors, it is neceffary to inform you that the term debt may be 
confidered as twofold, legal, and evangelical. The former con- 
(ifts in that debt of obedience which the law as a covenant of 
works requires in order to acquire eternal life. In this (cnic t 
Adam in a {late of innocency was a debtor; and all fuch to this 
day, whoare under the lawas a covenant of works; hence faysthe 
Apoftle, Gal. v. 3. for I teftify to every man that iscircumcifed, 
that he is a debtor to do the whole law. From the imbecillity 
and weaknefs of the finful creature to pay this debt of obedience, 
he necefTarily involves himfelf in a debt of puniftiment; and 
this he lays himfelf obnoxious to pay, both for the omiflion of the 
duties the law requires, and the commiflion of thofe fins which it 
prohibits: Hence in this fenfe finners are called debtors, Math, 
xviii. 34 Now Superbus, from this debt of obedience and 

punifhment Chrift has fet all believers free- He fulfilled the 
law precept, he bore the curfe which the law threatened as their 
furety. But betides this legal debt, there is an evangelical debt, 
from which believers arc never freed; a debt of new obedience to 
every precept contained in divine revelation; this is ftri&ly en- 
joined on all the juftified, and fan&ified in Chrift Jefus. " There- 
fore brethren, we are debtors not to the flefh, to live after the 
flefh." This evangelical debt he pays, this new obedience to 
every moral precept he gives, not to merit Heaven, or in the 
leaft to procure his title to the celeftial inheritance; but to tefti- 
fy h'\s love and gratitude to Jefus, who died for him and rofe 

Supefkii, you feern to-be £uch an advocate for the merit of good 
works, and their caufality in the matter of our juftification before 
God; in order to convince you of your miftake, permit me to offer 
the few followingthings to your confederation. Confider the ftatc 
and condition of ali mankind as the descendants of fallen Adam, 

1 t ThelT. v. 3. t Math. v. 10. vide John xv. 34. 1 John iv. 21- 

Let. 13. ( 288 ) 

as drawn by the fpirit of all truth. Are they not defcribed under 
the character, and by the title of fervants ? From this rheir cha- 
racter then, is it not clear and evident, that whatever they do, 
is but their duty, and if fo, how can it be meritorious ? When 
ye, (fays our Lord) have done all thefe things, which are com- 
manded you, fay we are unprofitable fervants, we have done 
that which was our duty to 60. Thus, the very condition we 
are in, plainly proves that there can be no caufality in any 
good work of the creature to merit any thing at the hand of 

Again confider, if we credit the Scriptures of truth, we arc 
there informed that we arc not only fervants, but impotent fer- 
vants too; without any inherent ftrength to perform any thing 
rjood, or praife-worthy of ourfelvcs: And if this be our conditi- 
on, it is not very likely that we can merit any thing at the hand 
of God. However mortifying fuch a pofition is to the pride of 
corrupt man, yet the Scriptures are every where clear on this 
head. " By the grace of God I am what I am," is the language 
of Paul. -j- Not that we are fufficient of ourfelvcs, to think any 
thing as of ourfclves, is the language of the fame Apoftle. £ For 
it is God that worketh in you, (is his language to the Phillipi- 
ans) both to will, and to do of his good pleafurc. $ Now is it 
not clear and evident, that if all the good we do, we are entirely 
beholden to the grace, and Almighty power of God for the per- 
formance, where can lie the merit of our good works ? 

Let us confider again the imperfection that cleaves to our bed 
fervtces; in every thing we do, we offend in all. Did ever any 
yet fince the fall of Adam, perform a good work in which there 
was no blemifh ? Now if in every action of our life, even in our 
good works themfelves, there is fo much finful imperfection, where 
can be the merit ? || 

In a word, let us confidcr that there is no proportion between 
God's juftice, and our good works. Merit takes its arifc from, 
and is founded upon commutative juftice; which requires that 
fo much reward be given for fo much work: Weight for weight. 
Believe me Superbus, that if a man mould fuffcr, (if it was pofii- 
ble) and undergo all the afni&ions which the whole of God's 
people, yea, the whole of mankind have fuffcred from Adam to 


!l It was a prayer of Auguftine, t*va meat lacrymas Domine, i. c. 
O Lord warn my tears; implying that thefe very tears which flowed 
from him as a true penitent, were not fo pure but they had need of 


t 1 Cor. xv. 10. X 2 Cor. iii. 5. § Philip, ii. 13. 

Let. 13. ( 289 ) 

this day, and at the fame time poflefled all the virtues of the 
mod godly ever exifted, yet upon the account either of his fuf- 
ferings, or the merit of his good works, he could not be reckoned 
worthy of the glory that is to be revealed; and why? Becaufc 
there is no proportion between either his fufferings, or obe- 
dience, and that future glory. From thefe things I think it is 
evident, that although however (inful proud man may cajole 
himfelf in the fuppofed goodnefs of his nature, difpofition, or 
works ; yet thefe can have nocaufal influence on God to adjudge 
him worthy of eternal life. I would rather, in an agreeablenefs 
to the holy Scriptures place our right and title to the heavenly 
inheritance to the account of the merit and fatisfacrjon of Je- 
fus; and yet in fo doins, I ftand up an advocate for holmefs and 
good works, and plead for their needn't}- as ftrongly as you can 
poffibiy do : But with this difference, that 1 can never place them 
in the room of Chrift's merit. In the glorious fcheme of our fal- 
vation they : • Id a mod confpicuous place, and wherever the be- 
liever in Jefus cafts his eye, and in whatever point of view he 
contemp'ates the gofpel fcheme of falvation, he plainly, and 
ftrongly difcerns, the abfolute neceflity he is under to live ioher- 
ly, righteoufly, and godly: Soberly and temperately with regard 
to himfelf; righteoufly and honeftly with regard to his neigh- 
bour; devoutly and pioufly with regard to God. This is a brief 
ep tome of the whole of the chriftian life. In the exerciie of thefe 
graces and virtues doth his character as a chriftian, and a believ- 
er in Jefus conlift. Innumerable are the motives, and prefling 
and cogent are the arguments to holinefs, which prefent them- 
ielves daily to the confederation of the genuine believer in 

But to be a little more particular here ; let us coniider the co- 
venant of grace into which God hath entered with the believer : 
This confiftsin a promife of every grace, and evangelical bleffing 
to be bellowed on the believer, on God's part ; and a promife of 
all holy obedience and faithfulnefs on the believer's part. God 
promifes to be our God, we on cur part engage to ferve him, in 
holinefs, and righteoufnefs all the days of our life« By virtue of 
faith in God's promife and covenant of grace, c\ e r y true believer 
enters in the mod exprefs manner, into a covenant of duty. 
Hear his language; *« what have I any more to do with Idols." 
*' O Lord, other Lords betides thee have had the dominion over 
ice: But by thee only will I make mention of thy name." This 
is no more than what is promifed every believer in Jefus ftiould 
do: " One fhall fay, I am the Lord's; and another fhall call 
himfelf by the name of Jacob; and another fhall fubfcribc "with 


Let. 13. ( -i 9 o ) 

his hand unto the Lord, and furnamc bimfelf hy the name of 
Jfr*ef. |f God promifes all manner of favour and prote&ion; and 
requires of us all manner of fervicc and obedience. He engages 
and that by oath, to deny nothing that is conducive either to our 
prefent welfare, or future happinefs; and requires on the other 
hand, that we rcfufe no part of that evangel cal obedience to all 
his commandments enjoined on us by his authority. This co- 
venant-engagement is briefly comprehended in thefe words, " I 
"will be your God, and ye fnall be my people." And you mull 
carefully advert to this, that this mutual ftipulation between God 
and the believer is founded upon the atonement and fatisfaction 
of Jefus. He cannot be our God, but as reconciled in Chrift; 
but there was no way of turning away his anger and restoring 
peace, but by the death of his Son. 

Confider here my dear friend, the all-gracious bounty of Hea- 
ven. Seethe benignity of an infinitely condefcending God! 
If he requires our payment of this evangelical debt of obedience, 
he at the fame time promifes fufficient furniture.* This is the 
very genius and nature of the covenant of grace; that all the du- 
ties incumbent on us to perform, there is grace always promifed 
for the performance. Doth he require faith ? It is given to the 
chriftian in the behalf of Chrift to believe. Doth he require to 
fear nd reverence him, and never to backflide and turn away 
from him ? This is alfo promifed; I will put my fear in their 
hearts, and they fhall never depart from me, &c. f See then 
the neceflity which lies on the believer from this confideration, 

to abound in every good word and work. " I will be a God 

to thee," fays he to Abraham. Could the Almighty promife 
more ? Could Abraham defire more ? This promife in Chrift 
which was made to Abraham, was the foundation of all that faith, 
obedience, and refignation to the will of Heaven, which marked 
the character, and diftinguifhed the conduct of the Father of the 
faithful. Might it not be rationally expected that thefe, or the 
like would be the natural effufions of Abraham's heart on this 
occafion r €€ And hath God, God all -fufficient gracioufly con- 
*' defcended to be my God; Why then, fhould I refufe to per- 
f * form any duty he enjoins me, or bear any burden, which 
" he in his all wife providence may fee meet to impofe on me. 
'* Should not I refign up to his fovcreign will and pleafure, all 
" that I am, or po fiefs. Can I refufe any manner or fervicc to 
M him, who promifes to be my fhreld and exceeding great rc- 
" ward. Should I not walk in all manner of holy obedience, 
<f to his moft juft commandments, and behave in every refpeft, 
iC as one fo dear to Heaven ; fhould I take encouragement to 

" "provoke' 
t| Ifai. xliv. 5. t Jer. xxxii. 40 

Let. 13. ( 291 ) 

(f provoke the eyes of his glory, becaufe he hath promifed to 
" blefs me, and make me a blemng." 

The future conduct of this great believer verified all that has 
been juft now faid of him. He was ail obedience to the heaven- 
ly call, to leave his country, kindred, and father's houfe: He ne- 
ver murmured when called to go to a place which he knew ndt. 
" He went out, not knowing whither he went." When com- 
manded to offer up his Son in facrifice upon mount Moriah, he 
■withdrew not his moulder from the burden. A hard tafk indeed, 
to part with a beloved, and an only Son. When God calls for 
our earthly comforts, which perhaps, are dear to us, if not dearer 
than our right eye, or our right hand; we are loth to part with 
them: But to be commanded of God to facrifice them ourfelves, 
is dill more difficult. But this was Abraham's cafe. The pro- 
mife, Ci I will be your God," ftill founded in his ears; fo that 
there was no command too hard, nor any trial too difficult tor 
faithful Abraham. And indeed, it would be a miracle to fee a 
genuine believer who has taken hold of God's covenant to ad in 
any other line, than to render the moft ready and unreferved 
obedience to the dictates of Heaven. 

Again, let us take notice of that necemty to holinefs and good 
works, arifing from our dedication to the fervice of God, and to 
all holy obedience in our baptifm. We are baptized in the name 
of the father, Son, and Holy Ghoft. Each of thefe three ado- 
rable perfons are refpe&ively concerned in the ceconomy of our 
redemption. The Father choofing us in Chrift before the foun- 
dation of the world, and in time adopting us into his family; 
putting us among the number of his children, and beftowing on 

us the privileges and immunities of his Sons. The Eternal 

Son, the Redeemer purchafes us in time by his own blood, makes 
us his peculiar treafure, and members of his myftical body.— — 
The Holy Ghoft confecrates, and forms us to be a temple for 
himfeH- to dwell in : And he doth this by applying that-redemption 
purpofed from eternity by the Father, and in time purchafed by 
the Son. Now, I will fubmit it to yourfelf, if riot' all worfhip 
and holy obedience, is not due from us to thefe three glorious 
perfons ? In them as one God, ought all our religious fervices 
to-tcrmjnate; and to them an unlimited obedience is due. ■ 
The Et.ernaJ God and father of our Lord Jefus Chriir, we are 
to reverence and obey as his children. 1 fet. i. 14, 15, As 
obedient children, — be ye holy in all manner of conversation. 
Eph.' v. 1. Be ye therefore followers of God as dear children. 
To the Son the Redeemer, we owe this piece of obedience and 
fervice^ to follow his footfteps, and imitate him in the example 

U * 

Let. 13. ( 292 ) 

and pattern he hath fet us: $ To behave on every occafion as 

his peculiar people, zealous of good works. To the Holy 

Ghoft the fan&ifier, we arc bound never to grieve him, nor de- 
file that temple in which he gracioufly dwells, f Now is it pof- 
fible that the juftified in Chrift Jefus can be bound with ftronger 
ties, or overcome by more perfuafive arguments to all manner of 
holy converfation, than thefe which originate from their relation 
to Father, Son, and Holy Ghofl: ? They are the Sons of God by 
adoption ; they are the members of Chrift's myftical body by 
purchafe; and they are the temples of the Holy Ghofl by his 

myftical inhabitation. How is it pofiible, we can call God 

our Father, if we yield not all manner of filial obedience to his 
commands, and pay a proper, and becoming regard to his fove- 
reign authority ? If I be a Father where is mine honour ? + — — 
How can we acknowledge ourfelves the difciples of Jefus, if we 
pay no refpeQ: to his commandments, and walk not even as he 
alfo walked. *- ^riow can we fay that our bodies are the tem- 
ples of the Holy Ghoft, or our hearts the fubjeft of his gracious 
operations if we can deliberately and wilfully defile his temple, 
and habitually provoke, grieve, and vex him ? If we live in the 
fpirit, let us walk in the fpirit. I (hall conclude this article by 
obfervinsj, that if the fupreme Deity of Chrift, his fatisfa&ion 
and atonement, the exiftence, and neceflary exiftence of the Ho- 
ly Ghofl: be not acknowledged what was juft now faid falls to 
the ground. 

Farther, the communion that takes place between Chrift the 
head, and all the members of his myftical body is calculated to 
fecure the interefts of holinefs, and enhance their obligation to 
all evangelical obedience : And not only fo, but has a peculiar 
caufality in. their formation to a holy life. They have commu- 
nion with him in his death; as he died for fin, they die to fin : 
The death of Chrift as it procures the life of their fouls, it like- 
wife proves the death of their fins. I am crucified with Chrift, 
(fays Paul) yet neverthelefs I live, and yet not I, but Chrift liv- 

eth in me. Gal. ii. 20 They have communion with him 

in his refurre&ion: " That ye may know him in the power of 
his rcfurre&ion, and the fellowfhipof his fufFerings." For if wc 
have been planted together in the likenefs of his death, we (hall 
be alfo in the likenefs of his refurre&ion. Rom. vi. 5.— They 
have alfo communion with him in his afcenfion, awd leifion ac 
the Father's right hand. If ye then be rifen with Chrift, feeh 
thofe things which are above, where Chrift is at the Father's 
right hand. Col. iii. 1. Let us obferve iikewite the pathetic 


§ 1 Pet. ii. 24. Eph. iv. 30, t 1 Cor. vi. 16. 
X Mai. i. 4. * John xiv. 15. 1 John ii. 3. Rora. viii. 9. 

Let. 13. ( 293 ) 

exhortation of the Apoftle in confequence of that communion 
which believers entertain with Chrift at the Father's right hand, 
"j. 5. mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; 
fornication, unclean nels, inordinate affe6tion, evil concupif- 
cence, and covetouinefs which is idolatry: Plainly intimating 
that living in the habitual practice of thefe, or other firr.ilar lufts, 
is entirely inconfiilent with any pretenfions to communion with 

It mav further here be observed, that believers have not only 
communion with Jefus in the aforefaid refpe6ts, but in a certain 
meafure and degree in his Mediatorial offices. By the fame hea- 
venly un&ion whereby he was conftituted the prophet, prieft, 
and king of his church, they are anointed to execute thefe offi- 
ces. They are by the Holy Ghoft anointed to be prophets, in 

order to preach and mow forth to the world, by all manner of 
godly conversation, the glory and virtues of their heavenly Fa- 
ther. Obferve the language of the Apoftle Peter on this head: 
But ye are a chofen generation, a royal priefthood, an holy nati- 
on, a peculiar people, that ye ffiould (how forth thepraifes, (the vir- 
tues) of him who hath called you out of darknefs into his mar- 
vellous lic:ht. What pietenfions I pray, could any one have to 
claim communion with Chrift in his prophetic office, whole ha- 
bitual cuftom was, to profane, vilify, and hlalpheme that great 
and dreadfui name the Lord cur God} The uncTon wherewith* 
all believers are anointed infpires them with the moft fervent de- 
lire to glorify God in their fouls and bodies which are his. 

By the lame anointing they are constituted Priejfs; not to 
prefent their fouls and bodies Sacrifice- upon an altar, to procure 
pardon and avert the divine difpleaiure j no, but for quite diffe- 
rent ends. I befeech you, (lays Paul) by the mercies of God, 
that ye prefent your bodies a living Sacrifice, holy and acceptable 
to God, wfveh is your rcafonable fervice. f The prophet Ifaiah 
fpcj'cs.of ai! believers as fuflaining the character, and executing 
the prieftly office: But ys fhail be named the priefts of the Lord, 
men (hall call you the mm iters of our God : Ifai. Ixi. 6. And 
as loftainrnGf rhs character, the Apoftle gives this exhortation 
how the prieUSof the Lord, the minifters of our God fhould walk 
and act . Aftd be ye not conformed to this world ; but be ye tranf- 
fornfed~kr-the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what 
is -that" good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God. § 

in a word, they arc by the fame anointing conftituted Kings; 
to contend againft, and overcome thofe Spiritual foes which befet 
them' in their way to the prom i fed Canaan: And thefe are prin- 
cipally the Devil, the world, and the flefh. The believer's war- 
~ , t-j&osn. xii. 1. § Rom. xii. 2. 

Let. 13. ( 294 ) 

fare is for from being over when his peace with Heaven is con- 
cluded. Peace with God iiTues in an immediate war with 

Do you not fee Superbus, that this anointing wherewith all 
believers are made fharers of, is fo far from being inimical to the 
intcrefts of holinefs, that it b exactly calculated to promote vir- 
tue, and that upon the ruin and dcftru6tion of fin.-< You will 

find the high ftation to which believers are advanced, in confe- 
rence of this un&ion of the Holy Ghoft recognized in the fong 
of all the redeemed from among men ; who have fafely efcaped the 
dangers and pollutions of a prefent world, and have reached that 
place where no fin can enter. They fing unto him that loved 
us, and wafhed us from our fins in his own blcod, and hath made 
us Kings and Pricfts to God, and his Father: To him be 
glory, &c. f 

Again, the neccfiity that lies on believers to the practice of 
holinefs and good works will farther appear, when we confider 
the nature of the gofpel, by which they are called to a participa- 
tion of the glory of ©ur Lord Jefus Chrift. Wherein confifls 
the nature of the gofpel ? Is it merely theoretic, or fpeculative ? 
Tending only to feed the mind with truths of a fpeculative na- 
ture ? No, it leads rather to correct: the will, and purify the af- 
fections of the believer, and to excite him to the practice of uni- 
verfal holinefs. Hence it is emphatically termed, " the truth 
according to godlinefs;" and " the myftery of god line fs" Muft 
you not acknowledge, that none can ferioufly and ingenioufly 
embrace the gofpel of God's grace, but are at the fame time obli- 
gated to walk worthy of it ? And the truth is, there is none who 
believes the former, but what will practice the latter : Such I fay, 
will give all diligence " to add to their faith, virtue; and to 
virtue, knowledge; and to knowledge, temperance; and to 
temperance, patience; and to patience, godlinefs; and to godli- 
nefs, brotherly kindnefs; and to brotherly kindnefs, charity." 
If finners were but once perfuaded to embrace a God in Chrift as 
revealed in the gofpel, there is not the lead danger of holinefs and 
good works being turned out of doors; but until this take place, 
you will as foon find good fruit on a.crab-tree, as you will holinefs 
and good works with gofpel-defpifers. 

In order to convince us of the necefiity of holinefs and good 
works from the nature and genius of the gofpel, we find that it fre- 
quently comes under the denomination of a law: The law of 
faith; the law of the fpirit of life; the law of liberty, and the law 
of Chrift. Now, it is more than probable, that the gofpel is thus 
chara&erifed, upon the account of its obligatory nature upon all 

t Rev. i. 5. chap. v. 9, 10. 

Let. 13. ( 295 ) 

-who receive and embrace it, to yield all manner of gofpel-obedl- 
encetothe whole of God's revealed will. Chrifl's yoke is eafy, 
but at the fame time it is a yoke: Yes, a yoke which by all means 
believers are bound and obliged to take on them. || By the law, 
(fays Paul) I am dead to the law, i. e. by the law of Chrift, I 
am dead to the law of Mofes in its covenant-form. The law 
of the fpirit or life which is in Chrift Jefus, hath made me free 
from the law of fin and death, * i. e. the gofpel which is the mi- 
niftration of life, and the word of life hath freed all believers from 
that law which irritates and makes fin exceeding finful ; and at 
the fame time alio, threatens death upon the flighted trarifgrcfli- 
on. Although therefore, we are freed from the law in its cove- 
nant-form by Chrift, fo that we are no more under the law, but 
under grace ; we are not for this reafon, to live as without law, 
*' but as under law to Chrift." As free (fays the Apoftlc 
Peter) but as fervants of God. f And being freed from fin, we 
become the fervants of rightcoufnefs. J By our believing in Je- 
fus as offered in the gofpel, our ftate of fervitude is by no means 
abolilhed; it is indeed changed : From being fervants of fin, we 
become fervants of righteoufnefs -, and from groaning under the 
iron yoke of Satan, we take on us the eafy yoke of Chrift. 

In a word, if we confider the nature of the grace of faith im- 
planted in the foul in the day of regeneration and effectual calling, 
we will clearly fee what an indifpenfible obli;*r.;ion lies on all be- 
lievers to pra&ife holinefs in the fear of God. There are three 
things attributed to faith in Scripture, which beyond a doubt, 
fecures the interefts of holinefs : Faith works by love, purifies the 
heart, and overcomes the world. Now, I might appeal to your- 
felf, can that man in whofe heart this grace is implanted, walk 
in the fte(h, or a€fc according to the courfe of a licentious and li- 
bertine world > Certainly no. Doth not the Apoftle James ex- 
prefsly affeit that faith without works is dead. § Although good 
works are by no means the procuring caufc of this fupernatural 
grace, it being the free gift of God beftowed on the finner with- 
out any caufality on his part; yet where it is inherent in the 
foul, holinefs of heart and life is always its concomitant. Upon 
what ground can any man feripturally determine that he is pof- 
fefifed of this heavenly gift, when he deliberately, and habitually 
indulges himfelf in the lufts of the flefh, and of the mind ? Can 
the tree be good, when the fruit is bad ? Can the fountain be 
fweet, when the ftreams are bitter? It is very true, that in the 
nutter of a finner's juftification before God, nothing can be more 


'I Math. xi. 29. * Rom. viii. 2. t 1 Pet. ii. 13. 

X Rom. vi. 18. § James ii. 20. 

Let. xy ( 296 ) 

diametrically oppofitc than faith and works. This is evident 
from the confont antithefis and oppofition placed by the Apoftle 
Paul between thefc two; Bat this never hinders their amicably 
confpiring, and harmonioufly agreeing, in the perfon and con- 
duct of the judificd in Chrift Jefus, 'in order for the promoting 
and carrying on a work of grace in the foul, until grace be fwal- 
lowcd up in glory. What a prefumptuous, and antifcriptural 
notion mud it be for a man to conclude that he is poffeflcd of a 
faving faith, when it has no farther influence on him than by an 
external profeflion to cry Lord, Lord; without being in the leaft 
degree follicitous whether his external deportment be agreeable 
to God's revealed will or not. The Libertines in the A pottle 
James's time, and the Antinomians in ours, miftaking the deiign 
of Paul's reafoning, in confining our jyftification to faith as the 
inftrumental caufe, without the deeds of the law; drew this un- 
accountable conclusion that believers were under no obligation to 
pay the lead regard to the moral law as the rule of their conduct. 
To combat, and overthrow this antifcriptural hypothecs, the 
Apoftle James writes, and roundly tells thefe Solifidians, that 
they had no greater reafon to boaft: of their faith than the Devils 
had: But that, (with them) if their faith was not* accompanied 
with good works, they had the greateft reafon to tremble. Thou 
believed there is a God, thou doeft well: The Devils alfo be- 
lieve, and tremble. But wilt thou know O vain man, that faith 
without works is dead. || In a word, as faith is the inftrume^ftta! 
caufe of our juftification, fo it is the root of our fanctification : 
purifying their hearts by faith, f 

" Philemon, how comes it to pafs that feeing according to your 
" opinion faith alone jufrifies, and if fo, is fufficient to anfwer 
ft all the ends and purpofes of falvation, that good works are ef- 
€< fentially neceflary too ? Would not one be tempted to think 
" that good works were fuperfluous, fincc faith anlwers all the 
" ends of falvation ? I am far from charging you as the author 
" of this hypothefU, I find the Apoftle Paul of the fame opinion, 
" Rom. <ii. 8. Therefore we conclude that a man is juftified 
" without the works of the law. Now, what I would wifii 
** to know is, wherein lies the great nccefiity of good works, af- 
u ter a man is juftified by faith, his fins pardoned, his perfon 
il and fervices accepted, and his title to Heaven afcertained i* 
t( Doth not that which fuffices for juftification anfwer all the 
*' purpofes of complete falvation ?" 

Superbus, in order to remove your objection, and fatisfy your 
mind on this head, allow me toobferve; that there is more rcqui- 
fite to final falvation than is to juftification. Juflification is not 

II Jaines ii. 19, 20. t Acts xv. 9. 

Let. 13. < 297 ) 

the whole of a (miner's falvation, i. e. there -U- more ncccfTary to 
render a (inner completely happy, yea, to put him in a carae tv 
for complete happinefs, than mere pardon, and the aicertainine: pf 
4>is title ro <j'ory. It is one th'.ngto confer a right to eternal iifc, 
another, to give a meetnefs for the actual polllmon of eternal life ; 
the former is granted in juftification, the latter is accompiifned in 
oui fancMcation. Although good works are entirelv precluded 
in the act 0/ juftification, becaufe by the atone rightecufne's of 
Chrifr. apprehended hy faith, we are purified, yet they are abfo- 
lutely neceirary in all the i^iflified in Chirfl: Jefus, as means for 
accomph (hi ng; the great end of complete falvation. You muft 
obferve here Superbus, that although faith alone as the initrumen- 
taicaufe juftifies, yet it is not lo alone, hut all the other graces -of 
the Holy Ghoft are always fuppofed, and really are co- ex i (lent with 
it in the believer. We fay the eye alone fees; but it is always 
■fuppofed in conjunction with the other members of the body. .Nei- 
ther indeed is that faith which juftifies the (inner by apprehend- 
ing Chri it's righteoufnefs ever found without good works; al- 
though, as itjujiijies, it precludes every good work, or in the 
language of the Apoftle, the works of the law. Good works then 
neceflarily accompany juftifying faith, but aie hy no means co- 
workers with it in the act of justification ; are always in the jufti- 
fied, not to purchafe falvation but as means of Heaven's inftitu- 
tion to make meet tor it. 

* " But Philemon^ is not what you maintain rather inimical to 
st the practife of hoiinels, in afleiting that the whole of man's 
** falvation from firfl: to faft, is entirely owing to free grace 
4< through -the redemption that is in Chrift Jefus ? Now, ifall be 
e< folely lodged in the hand of free grace as you maintain, might 
"' not your doctrine tend, if not to licentioufnefs,, yet to encou- 
f* rage (loth and indirTerency rn ufing the means of Heaven's 
6f inftitution." 

Superbus, if I have erred in afTerting that the whole of man's 
falvation is entirclv owing to the free grace of God, the Scrip- 
tures have led me aihay. Is not the conftant language of the 
Holy Ghoft on this head to this very purpofe ? '* It is God which 
worketh in you, both to w:il, and to do of his good pleafure." 
*' By grace ye are faved through faith, and that notofyour- 
fclves it is the gift of God." " Not by works of righteoufnefs 
which we have done, but according to his mercy he faved us," 
&c. And you will find that the unanimous language of all 
Saints is, as if they had but one heart, and one mouth; " not 
unto us O Lord, not unto us, but unto thy name be the praife." 
l< According as he hath faved us, and called us with an holy 
calling, not according to our works, but according to his purpofe 


Let. 13. ( 298 ) 

and grace, which he purpofed in (Thrift Jefus before the world 

Now Superbus, do you really think that there can be any one 
fo weak, on wicked to draw this concfufion from the above pre- 
mises, that becaufe we arc faved by grace there is no neceflity 
for any endeavour on the part of the creature ? Is not God's 
grace, and our duty neceflarily and infeparably connected ? 
Yea, fo joined together, that no man can difonite them. It was 
an observation of Augujiine that though God, (fays he) created 
thee without thee, yet he will not favc thee, without thee, f I 
own in firft converfion, and in the acl of regeneration, the (inner 
is to be considered as entirely paflive : He can contribute no 
more to the effe&uatiqig this glorious change than the infant in 
the womb to its own exigence; or a dead man, to his rifmg out 
of the grave : But being born again, and raifed from his moral 
death in fin, he is made alive unto God, and capacitated to pro- 
feeutc the end of his high calling. Now that God's grace and 
the linnet's duty are infeparably connected, will appear from that 
forfeited text, Phil. ii. 3. where the Apoftle afcribes every 
good word, and work, and even every pious inclination of the foul 
to the energetic grace and power of God; and yet we arc called in 
the- preceding verfe, to work out our falvation with fear and 

You know, that God as the God of nature, rfath absolutely 
promifed that there ftrall be by a conftant rotation fummer, and 
winder, feed-time, and frarveff : Now would you not judge that 
mam to be exceeding prefumptuous, who would expefr. a crop in 
fearveft, without improving the feed time, in committing hit- 
grain to the earth, to reap the fame in its due feaion > }ob ex- 
prefsly teHs us that our days are determined, and the number of 
our months are with him : He hath appointed our bounds, that 
we cannot pafs. J Now, would you not deem that man to be ve- 
ry prefumptuous that would chaw this concluflon from the above 
text, that all endeavours for the prefervation of his hea'th, ani 
Fife were entirely fuperfluous ? And why r Becaufe to that peri- 
od God hath fixed for the termination of his life he will arrive, let 
him do what he will, and a& as he pleafes. I may juft obferve 
19 3»ou here, that the fame decree which hath fixed the period to 
whifh we fliall arrive, hath alfo appointed the means for the pro- 
longation of our life until the period thus determined by God* 
(nail come ? fo that the end and the means are wrapt up, and 
infeparably connected in the fame decree. 

f Qui creavit re fine te. non te fervabit fine *.c 

X Job xiv. S- 

Let. 13. ( 299 ) 

- .in order therefore to obtain the complete and eternal falvarioii 
of our fouls, holincis of life and converfation is abfoiutelv r»opcf- 
lary; or in ether words, the exercife or thofe graces implautcd in 
our !cu!s by thcHflly Ghofi: in the way of commanded durv, iu 
all its extent : And although the implantation of thefe grace 
entirely owing, to the fovereign good will and pleafure or G 
yet the acting and exefcife of them is entiiely ours. Although 
the Hoi v Spirit be. the gracious donor of the grace of faith, re- 
pentance, love, occ. yet he will not believe for us, nor repent, 
nor love God tor us. Thefe axe our perfonal acb. The grace b 
Gods, the duty is ours —To when of the Saints will yoa 
turn, and propofe this intereiling queiiion, ** how do you exped 
falvation ?" They would with one heart, and one voice anfwer; 
we look for it, we eamellly expeel it as co-workers with God. 
We never expect it, either by living a life of liceriYioufnefs, or 
careleflnefs. We look for the falvation of our Lord Jefus Chriil 
with exceeding great glory, in an habitual performance of all the 
duties which God hath enjoined on us in his word, either refpe&- 
ing God, ourfelves, or our neighbour. In a word, we look for 
it in the conftant exercife of prayer, reading, hearing, medita- 
tion, &c. 

Did not God fend an Angel as the mefTenger of glad tidings 
fco Paul, when in the utraoft hazard of being (hip-wrecked, and 
allured him that not a foul of the whole crew ihould periih ? 
A little afterwards fome of the mariners endeavourrng to leave 
the fhip, Paul exprefsly told them that except thefe would abide 
in the fni pi hey could not be laved; why ? Became God who had 
determined the end, had at the fame time alfo fixed on the means 
toaccomplifh that end- ■ Doth not the Apoftlc expressly a-flurc 
us, Eph. i. 4. that he, (viz. God) hath chofen us in Chriil 
before the foundation of the world, (i. e. from all eternitv) that 
we mould be holy, and without blame befre him in love. The 
meaning is, we were chofen to holinefs as the mean, as well as 
to eternal glory a* the end.-*— I may juit add, that falvation being 
by the free crace of God through the redemption that is in Chrift 
Jefus, is fo far from being inimical to the endeavours of the crea- 
ture, that it is upon this plan, and this only infallibly fecured. 
And by thus uniting the endeavour of the f.nner, with the effica- 
cious grace of God, as it clearly demonilrates the neceiTity of 
holinefs, againil the fecurity of a libertine licentious "world ; fo 
it effectually ihitts the door againft all facrilegious phanfaical 

I (hall only make this obfervation further on this head, namely, 
that all the various phiafes exprefiive of our fan&ification point 
ouC both the free grace of God in our falvation, and the duty of 

Let. 13. ( 300 ) 

the creature as in r cparably connected. It is called a work, wrvch 
we are to work out* and yet it is God which worketh in us, both 
to will, and to do of his good plcafure. || It is called a talent which 
we are to improve; the talent is Gods, the improvement is 
ours, f It is called a feed, from which we arc to fend forth fruit. J 
The feed is Gods; it is to appear in us in all manner of godly 
conversation. It is called a race fet before us to run. $ It is Gods 
to mark out the way; it is ours to run. A light which is to be 
kept burning unto the perfect day. * The light is Gods, it comes 
from the Father of lights, from whom every good and perfect gift 
doth come ; and yet is called our light. 

'* My dear Philemon, I am perfectly fatisfied from what you 
" have advanced, that the doctrine and belief of Chrift's fatis- 
M faction and atonement, and the grace of God appearing in 
'< men's falvation from firft to lad, tends neither to licentiouf- 
*f nefs, nor to the encouragement of floth and indolence. How 
" difficult is it to eradicate thefe prejudices in favour of any 
" fyftem which have been long and deeply rooted in the mind. 
I was ftill taught the belief of your doctrine, could not confift 
with the good works of the creature ; or at lead, that they 
were rendered by it fuperfiuous, and of no effect. But I ajn 
firmly convinced, that it is not poflible not to love, and pay 
all manner of refpe& to the law of that mod gracious Saviour, 
i( who died to deliver from the wrath to come, by bearing our 
" fins in his own body on the tree. The love of Chrift con- 
tc ftraineth us; to what ? To live a life of licentioufnefs, iloth 
" and carelefTnefs: No, but that we mould no longer live to 
" ourfelves, but unto him who loved us and died for us. Too. 
" long, I muft acknowledge J have lived to myfelf> felf was my 
" principle aim in all my actions. From a flavifh fear, and a 
" iervile fpirit, originated all my religious fervices. From, a 
' ' principle of worldly applaufe proceeded all thofe aclions^ which 
" redounded in any meafurc to the good and we'fare of my fel- 
" low-creatures: If my right hand gave, my Iert hand pbferved 
" the girt; I gloried in thefe at lead before God, that by Inch 
" beneficent charitable actions I might at lead recommend my- 
" felf to God. I never could until now, understand what Paul 
" meant by this expreffion ; " tome to live is Chrift." Iper- 
" ceive now. that this great and eminent man had a view to the 
" advancement of the glory of Chrift in all his a&ions: That 
(< in all the eminent fervices he did the church, it was his prin- 
if cipal intention that the great king and head of the church 

" mould 

|| Phil. ii. 13. t Math, xxv. X Gal. v. 24. "A • 
§ Heb. xii. 1. * Math. v. 20. 

Let. 13. ( 301 ) 

" fnould receive all the glory.— Neither until now could I 
" poffibly underftand, nor by any means apprehend, what he 
" could mean by this phrafe, God forbid that I fhould glory in 
* 4 any thin^ elfe fave in the crofs of our Lord Jefus thrift." 
J - Now I conceive, that from this glorious perfonage that hung 
'* on the crofs, he expe&ed all the fpiritual blefiings conveved in 
44 a ftate of grace; and all the good in reverfion to be ccmmuni- 
44 cated in giorv. Mean and ignominious as Jefus appeared on 
" the crofs, the Apoftie faw in his perfon an exceeding great glo- 
" rv ; and in his accurfed death benefits accruing to Tinners of 

4< the mod valuable, and incrtimaMe nature. But I mull 

'* dcuft for a little, as i feel my ftrength and fpirits exhaufted, 
u and almoft failing." 

Mv dear Oneftmus, you may eaf:ly conceive the ftate or my 
mind on this occafion : I was almoft on the eve of calling the 
difconfolate family together to take a Ions: and lading farewell o\ 
the huftvand, and father. But waiting for a few minutes, and 
obferving his pulfe; I perceived that death was not as yet at the 
door. At length heaving a deep figh, he opened his eyes, and 
ftretching out his hand, took a fa ft hold of mine, and repeating 
thefe words j " Lord what is man that thou art mindful of him; 
^nd the Son of man that thou fhouldeft vifit him." At the re- 
petition ofthele words, 1 was quite overcome. How ftrong are 
the ties of cordial friendfhip ; how loath arc we to part with a 

bofom friend, and a beloved companion. Superbus obferving 

me in this ftate, with tears running down his pale cheeks, ad- 
drefled me in the following terms. — " Philemon, if the departed 
44 foul in a future ftate, can have any recollection of pnft tranf- 
" actions here below, your kindnefs and friendship will be re- 
44 membered by me, yea written on my heart in fuch indelible 
4t characters that eternity will not be able to efface. You have 
44 indeed a&ed the part of a friend in the care, and uncommon 
44 concern, that you have taken about the-,tternal welfare of my 
44 precious and immortal foul; which in a few days, or hour.-, 
44 rnuft take a long farewell of this clay-tabernacle. To fave a 
" foul from death, is certainly one of the n obi eft actions in which 
"ever any was engaged. And now fincc divine provide -ice 
" hath brought me back once more from the gates of death; if 
04 it would not difoblige you, or detain you too long, I have a few 
41 more queries which 1 wifh to have refolved ' 

44 Doth no: the dextrine of ChritYs fatisfaction and 2ronemci t 
" in the way that you hold it forth rather cad a vail upon feme 
" of the perfections of the divine nature : particularly, the mer- 
" cy f and omnipotency of God ? Suppofe that God will not remit 
" fin without an atonement made by Je r us the r urety, doth not 

Let. r> ( 302 ) 

*' this obfeure the glory of his mercy ? Supoofing again he can- 
** not; doth not this obfeure the glory of his omnipotence ?" 

Supcrbusy I anfwer God could not remit fin without a fatisfacTi- 
on : From the perfect purity andfanctity of his nature, he cannot 
tolerate, nor fuffer it to oafs unpunifhed - — —Neither could he, 
in refpect of his juftice which requires that every one fhouH re- 
ceive according to his works. \ Neither could he in regard of his 
truth.* The word has gone out of his mouth, and it fhall he ac- 
cbmpliflred, '• the foul that finneth (hall die." Death, accord- 
ing to this threatning mud be inflicted either on the (inner, or a 
furety in bis ffead. Therefore, in a cunfiffency with the glory of 
Hiefc perfections he could not pardon fin without a fatisfaction. + 
Neither is the omni potency of God in the leaf! obfeured by this 
method of grace and falvation in admitting of a furety, and 
making him to be /in, and a curfe in order for remiflion, becaufe, 
this is by no means owing to any defect in his power, but to the 
infinite and unchangeable perfection of his nature. 

And as from the above co n fid erat ions he could not pardon fin 
without a fatisfa&ion ; neither will he. That this is the cafe, is 
evident from all the declarations made of his will on this head 'n 
the facred oracles. Is it not every where in the whole book o^ 
God (where the facred penmen treat on this fubject) plainly 
afTerted, that fin cannot pafs unpunifhed ? Neither is the gfory 
of the divine mercy thereby obfeured; becaufe if he is merciful, 
he isaffojuft: And the exercife of his juftice againft fin, never 
impedes that of his mercy towards the finner, in a confiftency 
with the other perfections of his nature. And this reconcilement 
of thefe feemingly oppofite perfections and attributes in the cafe 
of the finner, can only take place in virtue of the atonement of 
the furety — By the fame parity of reafon, I might argue, that 
God is both cruel, and weak; if he will not lave all mankind. 
I a(k, why doth he not fave the impenitent r* Either becaufe he 
cannot, or becaufe he will not : And that all men arc faved, I 
believe you will not maintain. If he cannot, according to your 
phrafe, he is not omnipotent; if he will not, he is not infinitely 
merciful. But I am fure you are far from afFerting, that thefe 
perfections and attributes are not in the Divine Being in the moft 
eminent manner and degree. If you reply, that God cannot, 
becaufe it would be repugnant to the holinefs and juftice of his 
nature to receive impenitent finners into communion with him- 
fclf ; and alfo to his will, becaufe he hath in his own word plainly 
declared the contrary. - T his is all that I affirm: And I may 
juft add, that independent of this method of falvation through the 
atonement and fatisfaction of Jefus,the whole human race would* 


f Rom. ?. 32. 1 TheiT. i. 6. t See Letter 2d*. 

Ler. 13. ( 303 ) 

have remained in fuch a (late, as it would have been entirely 
contrary to the nature, and to the revealed will of God in his 
word, to have received them into communion and fellowlhip 
with himfelf. 

Moreover, this method of falvation through the atonement 
and fatisfaction of Jefus, is fo far from obfeuringthe glory of the 
divine perfections, that they fhine forth in the moft eminent 

manner and degree. In what a glorious point of view do we 

contemplate the juftice of the divine nature ; which, before fin 
fhould go unpunished, it mud be imputed to the furety, and he 
fuffer its demerits- By this method the juftice of God is vindi- 
cated from all the afperfions which might be cad on it, either by 
Devils, or wicked men; and at the fame time, the moft illuftri- 
ous document given to men, that as in a gials they might fee the 
exceeding finfulnefs of fin, and thereby be deterred from its com- 
miflion either in thought, word, or deed : And alfo at the fame 
time, to prove a perpetual caveat never to abufe mercy, in a way 
of expecting falvation in a courfe of iniquity 

The glory of the divine mercy is alfo by this method of larva- 
tion, illuftrioufly difplayed. This perfection was fo eminently 
great, and prevalent in the divine bread towards miferable (rn- 
ners, that when no other method of falvation, (at leair. known 
to us) could lave men from deftruction, he clothed his own Son 
with our nature, and fubje&ed him in that nature, to the moll 
direful torments both of foul and body- -f Herein appears the 
riches of his mercy in the fubtlirution at his Son in the room of 
the guilty. 

How eminently doth his infinite wifdom appear in this plan of 
falvation by the atonement of Jefus. Herein appears the mani- 
fold wifdom of God; and the wi'dom of God in a myftery. By 
3 wonderful temperament of jultiee and mercy, he hath folved 
this perplexing queftion. How can man be faved, without any 
detriment to, or calling any flur upon the other perfections of 
the divine nature ? Q the depth of the richer both or* the wifcbm 


t Phihmon would wifh to fpeak very modeftly on this queition, \«7. 
whether God could have faved fmners any other way than by the atone- 
ment and fatisfadion of Jefus. Rather than appealing immediately to 
his abfolure power, might not the ftate of the controvcrfy he fumraed 
up thus : Whether God'* requiring Chrift to give fatisfaction in the room 
of tinners previous to their reftorarion to the divine favour; was owing 
to the mere good pleafure of his will; or whether the eilential hoimefs, 
the jufticeof his nature which he cannot poflibly part wirb, required a 
fatisfeclion to be made ? The ltd of shefe ftare?of the queftion, is cer- 
tainly the. nioUt fcripmral. 

Let. 13. ( 304 ) 

2nd knowledge of God; how unfearchable are his judgments, 
and his wavs pad finding out ! 

How glorioufly doth the Almighty power of God fhine forth 
in this admirable fcheme ! Power which hath mod eminenly tri- 
umphed over the Devil, the world, fin, death, Hell, and the 
grave ! Thefe formidable foes which rode triumphant over God's 
creature are vanquifhed and overcome, and that with their own 
weapons. The Almighty power of God hath, by the moll ad- 
mirable dexterity brought life out of death ; happinefs out of the 
deeped: mifery ; and glory out of the greateft ignominy; and 
eternal falvation, from an infamous crofs ; and from (as to ex- 
ternal appearance) an ignominious fufferer Deny the fatis- 

faction and atonement of Jcfus, and you will in very deed great- 
ly ohfeure the glory of the divine perfections. -To pafs over 

trangrefTions of the law, or to connive and wink at them, Is an 
evidence, either of a negligent judge, who from careleffhefs per- 
mits them; or an iniquitous judge, if he freely and voluntarily 
paffes them over, without calling the tranfgrcfjors to an account. 
But far be it from the Almghty to delight in iniquity. Fools 
(hall not (land in his fight* he hates, and hating, he cannot but 
punifh all the workers of iniquity. 

" Pbi/emon, was not Chrid made under the lav/ for himfclf, 
'* i. e. did he not owe obedience to it for himfelf ? How then 
M in this cafe could his adtive obedience be imputed to us, as a 
" principal and particular part of that rie;hteoufnefs which being 
'* imputed to the (inner, he becomes judified, and accepted in 
" God's fight ?" 

Superbus, considering the Son of God, the Saviour of the world 
precifely as God, he neither was, nor poffibly could befubje& to 
any law, to any fuperior: That being diametrically oppofitc to 
the nature of the God-head. This I think at flrd view you mud 
confefs to be the truth. Some confider the Mediator as man, to 
be fubje& to the moral law, as it is the rule both of the nature, 
and actions of rational creatures, for himfelf. I would rather 
imagine that in all the obedience of his life, as well as his fufTer- 
ings unto the death, he is to be confidered purely as furtty. So. 
that fudaining this character, and danding in this relation, he 
was made under the law folely for us. I iav under the law, as 
enjoining the condition of perfect obedience, in order to purchafc 
eternal life and happinefs for thofe for whom he engaged, as well 
as fuffer the penalty due for their fins. So that the whole of 
his perfect and confummate obedience which he yielded to the 
law as a covenant, through the whole of his humbled date, is to 
be confidered as furety-obedience. — Befides fuch an hypothecs 
has no countenance in the Scriptures ; we never read that he 


Let. 13. ( 305 ) 

was made under the law, or gave obedience to its precepts for 
himfelf ; but we read that God font forth his Son, made of a wo^ 
man, made under the law, but how, or for what end ? For him- 
felf ? No, but for us, to deliver them who were under the law. -f 
We are alfo told that by the obedience of one mall many be 
made righteous. J Now this obedient by which we are confti- 
tuted righteous, muft be in the nature of the thing furety-obedi- 
ence ; or in other words obedience given to the law for us, and 
imputable to us as the ground of our juftificat^on before God. 

" Philcmcn, I will not detain you much longer; but as I wilh 
" to obtain all pofinle fatisfaclion on this head, I hope you will 
" bear with me a little. I a(k you then, whether upon 

" fuppofition that the atonement and fatisfacYion of Cl.rift was 
" fufficient for the juftificution of finners in f he light of God, and 
" that actually accounted theirs for pirdon and acceptance; yet 
*'' after all may they not finally perifti ? Is it not poflible after all, 
" through a courfe of (inning:, that thofe who are the children 
iC of God, may become the children of wrath and finally perifh ? 
" In this cafe then, would not thefetwo things neceflaiily fol- 
" low; either, that ChrifFs fatisfa&ionand atonement although 
" fuffieient for the pardon of fin, yet was not fuffieient to open, 
" and keep open the way into the holieft of all, and confequent- 
" ly there mud be a fad defect in all that Chrid did and fuffer- 
<e ed ; or, will not this follow, that he hath died in vain, and a 
'* vain application made of the merit of his obedience and death 
tc to finners r* — I begin to entertain fuch an opinion of the whole 
" fcheme of falvation through the Lord Jefus Chrift, as the con- 
" trivance of an infinitely wife God, and executed by an alt- 
" gracious Redeemer, and applied by the all-powerful agency 
<{ of the Holy Ghoft ; that I cannot perfuade myfelf, but that 
" there was fuch a fufficiency and perfection in the death of Jefus, 
" as would infallibly fecure the eternal falvation of all them who 
" believe: Neither can I perfuide Ynyfelf, that God could be 
•« frustrated of his defign in contriving, the Son in executing, 
«' and rhe Holy Ghoft in applying this glorious fcheme of falva- 
u tion : And yet I was ftill made to believe, that a man might, 
" after he was a&ually in aftatc of grace, his fins really pardon- 
* f ed, his peiToh and fervices accepted, his title to eternal glory 
«' afcertained; yet after all I fay he might relapfe, and from be- 
" ing a child of God, become a chi'd of the Devil, from being 
'* an heir of glory, lofe all right and title to it, and fall under the 
M evcrlailmg difpleafure of a fin-rcvenging God." 

t Gal, iv, 4. X Rom. ▼. 19. 

Let. 13. ( 30^ ) 

My dear Super-bus, I coincide with your fentiments, in avowing 
the infnfficiency of the death of Chrift for bringing many Sons to 
glory, if after all that he has done and fuffered for procuring fal- 
vaiion, and after the application of his meritorious obedience and 
death to the (inner, he perifti eternally. But is it poflible to con- 
ceive, that God can be fruftrated of his purpofe ? Who hath refilled 
his will ? What a ftrange pofition ! Chrift fees, and yet doth not fee 
the travail of his foul! He fees it to day in the flourilhing ftatc 
of a believer : To-morrow he fees it not ; the ftatc of the believer 
is altered, his grace is gone ; he is no longer the travail of his 

foul, he is a child of the Devil, and an heir of hell We have 

a common phrafe, " God and nature doth nothing in vain;" or 
with more propriety the phrafe might run thus, " the God of 
nature doth nothing in vain." But it would feem the God of 
grace may do a great deal in vain : He may contrive, purchafe, 

and apply falvation, and all in the iftue to no purpofe. Doth 

it not favour of blafphemy to aflert that the great, omnipotent, 
and all-wife God can be fruftrated in any of his counfels, purpofes 
and defigns ? Do you reply, how is he fruftrated ? I anfwer, did 
not God apply the purchafed falvation, did he not forgive the (in- 
ner, did he not afcertain his title to the heavenly inheritance, 
with a view to conduct him to glory? But alas ! his whole 
fcheme of grace which was intended for the eternal welfare of the 
finner is turned abortive: Satan the mighty one befets the (in- 
ner, and rapacioufly pulls him out of the hands of omnipotence; 
for in his Almighty hand, and encircled with the everlafting arms, 
all his Saints are. But I am rather anticipating myfelf here. — 
Permit me then to prefent you with my views on this head : And 
the arguments which I (hall propofe to you for the confirmation 
of the Saints infallibly perfevenng in a ftate of grace until they 
reach glory, (hall ftill be connected with, and have a reference 
unto the fcheme of our falvation through the atonement and fa- 
tisfa£tion of Jefus. 

It may notbeamifs to define and fpecify the perfons who (hall 
peifevere unto the end, and in the end receive the complete and 
eternal falvation "of their fouls: And yet fome are pleafed to tell 

u^that they may finally perifti. They are fuch, whom God 

hath cholen in thrift before the foundation of the world, + i. e. 
we were chofen in him from eternity; for time never exifted 
until the foundation of the world was laid, time and the world 
are coeval, -j- They are alfo redeemed, and bought with a price, 


t By the bye, to talk of a time-elettion is entirely antifcriptural ; 
that is to fay, when a man choofes to believe, God then elects him. For 

t Eph. i. 4. 

Let. 13. ( 307 ) 

viz. the precious blood of Chrift, from the bondage of fin, the 
tyranny of Satan : They are alfo made partakers of a divine na- 
ture, having efcaped the pollution of the world through lull ; they 
are made iharers of a new life, are quickened together with him; 
They are believers in Chrifl; poflefTed of that vita! principle 
which unites them into fuch a clofe connexion with Jefus, as the 
branches have with the tree, or the fuperftructure with the foun- 
dation, or the corner-ftone with the whole building: Yea, they 
oftentimes arrive to fuch a full aflurance of faith as makes them 
with the greateft confidence fay with Paul, " I know whom I 
have believed, and that he is able to kep that which I have com- 
mitted to him againft that day." In fine, they are poflefTed of 
fuch a faith as is productive of all the fruits oi holinels; a faith 
that works by love, that purifies the heart, and overcomes the 
world. They are fuch as are fanctified in foul, body and fpirit, 
through the fprinkling of the blood of Jefus as the meritorious 
caufe, and the word and ordinances as the inftrumenral caufe. 
They are fuch, as are kept by the power of God through faith 
unto falvation; are fafely lodged in the hand of the Father, and 
of Chrift. They are fuch, whom God, in the act of juflification 
hath freely pardoned all their iniquities, and caft all their fins in- 
to the depths of the fea. In a word, they are fuch who Ihall be 
made more than conquerors through him that loved them* and 
from whofe love nothing fhall be ever able to ieparate them. 
They may bid a defiance to death, to life, to Angels, principa- 
lities and powers, to things prelent, and things to come, to height, 
to depth, yea to every creature whatever, to caufe a divorce be- 
tween God and them. ||— Now Superbus, thefe are the perfons 
(whom the Scriptures thus characterize,) whom fome are p : eafed 
to maintain may fall away from a ftate of g r ace. But would 
not you think, that a gracious God had done too much for them, 
and wrought too much in them, to lofe them after all, either 
through the fubti'ty of Satan, or the allurements of a prefent 
evil world, or the ftrength of fin in them ?■ -Thefe are the 
perfons Superbus, whom I propofe to Ihow you fhall perfevere un- 

once then, we behold an independent, and a dependent God: His elect- 
ing aft fufpended upon the mere good pleafure of the creature. He 
cannot elect, until the creature render himfelf an object worthy of it. 
Strange do£trine indeed ! highly flattering to human pride, degrading to 
the free grac$ of God, pernicious to the ialvation of precious fouls. 

II Rom. viii. 37, 38, 39. 

X a 

Let. 13. ( 308 ) 

to the end, and in the end, receive the complete, and eternal 
falvation of their fouls: And this fecure God's eternal purpofe 
of grace and fove towards them; and thus prove the fufHcicncy 
and perfection of the atonement and fatisfa&ion of Jefus ; and 
the powerful and gracious operations of the Holy Ghoft on their 
fouls; all which are annihilated, hy denying the Saints final 

Let us enquire a little into the Saints original, from whence I 
think wemay warrantably conclude their perfeverance, and fe- 
cure the perfection and all-fufficicncy of Chrift's atonement. 
From whence then have they their origin and extraction ? From 
God. " They are horn of God:" '* Begotten of the incorrup- 
tible feed of the word of God." " They are God's workman- 
fhip, they are God's building." They are created again in 
Chrifi: Jefus, unto good works- Here you fee their heavenly 
defcent. What a glorious piece of architecture muft the Saint 
be! He refembles his heavenly Father; a partaker of a divine 
nature; displaying in his character and conduct the beauties of 
holinefs: And having his original from above, he muft pofiefs 
every virtue and gracious qualification , conftitutive of his high 
birth, and ornamental to his chriftian profefiion ; fuch as love, 
joy, peace, gentlenefs, goodnefs, faith ; and above all, an habi- 
tual propenfity of foul in order to reach the glorious fountain 
from whence all thefe graces fpring; and all that comfort and 
fupport, which from day to day, he experiences in the way of 
religion and godlinefs— — — But alas I what a fad reverfe in the 
ftate and cafe of this Noble Creature. In a moment the fpiritua! 
building isdemolifhed: And without heing rebuilt it lies in ruins 

l to eternity. All that we can fay of this celeftial building, of that 
temple of the Holy Ghoft is, that God was once there. It is a 
pity that the Holy One of Ifrael mould have been banifhed his 
dwelling place. But the temple of the Holy Ghoft is deferted ; 
ChrilVs death fruftrated; his fatisfaction and atonement demon- 

; ftrated to the world, in opposition to all that the Scriptures have 
fa;d to the contrary, to be infullicient to falvation: And the poor 
miferable fmner, is poor and miferable indeed. God is gone; 
gace is ioft; the fecret infpiration of the Almighty which made 
him lon» after a blefled and glorious immortality is no more. 
h\b earned expectation blafted, and his hope cut off like the fpi- 
der's web. 

Do you remember Sitperlus, that alarming prediction of Ifaiab, 
with regard to the deftruction of Babylon? How inimitably is the 
cataftrnphe of that once flourishing city drawn by the inlpired pro- 
phet. I (hall read to you the divine record concerning that once 
flouriftiing city. And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beau- 


Let. 13. ( 309 ) 

ty of the Chalices excellency, fha.ll be, as when God overthrew 

Sodom and Gomorrah. !t ill a 1 1 never be inhabited, neither 

fhall it be dwelt in, from generation to generation Neither 

fhali the Arabian p'tch tent there, neither fhall the fhepherds 

make their folds there. But wild beads of the deiert fhall lie 

there, and their houfes fhall be full o{ doleful creatures, and owls 
fhall dwell there, and fatyrs (hall dance there. . And wild 
bealb of the ifland fhall cry in their defolate houfes, and dragons 

in their pleafaat palaces, f- Who could have beheld ancient 

Eiby.'on in all its pomp and glory reduced to fuch a miferable 
(tare as is here predicted without tears ? But let us turn our eyes 
from the deftruction of earthly grandeur, glory and excellency, 
to a more lamentable fcene. Behold a man once the workman- 
ship of God, adorned Jnd embeHiihed, not with human fculp- 
ture, but w th the finger of the living God; once glorioufly 
fl&iping in all the graces of the Holy Ghoil; but now, alas ! the 
w prfcs of the flefk are predominant, thefe rapacious lufts take up 
their habitation where God once dwelt. The heart of man ad- 
mits or no vacuum: Either God, or Satan dwells there. Either 
the graces of the fpint, or the works of the flefh have the maf- 

But can you imagine my dear friend, that the Almighty will 
fuffcr this fttefl: excellent of all his hand-works to be brought to 
ruin either by (in, or Satan ? I lee you fhudder at the very 
thought. A fit the prophet Zechariah and he will inform you, 
how well fee u red God's people are. Certainly if what this in- 
fpired penman (ays be true, they are altogether impregnable 
againtt all attacks from hell, or earth. For I faith the Lord, will 
be a wall of fire to her round about, and the glory in the midft of 
her. J Not only a wall to ward off the approaching enemy, and 
fecure his people from ail danger; but a wall of fire, to keep 
them at the greater! defiance ; or, if they dare approach, to con- 
fume them in their e nerp'ile. 

Let us again enquire a little into the nature of the covenant 
cr grace, and we will find the Saints in a ftaue cf 
grace until they reach glory, absolutely Secured. And if fo, the 
alonemem and fafy faction of Chrift is not in vain, but will afTu- 
-redly aniwe all the valuable ends and purpofes for which it was 
defigned. Now the fum and fubftance of this covenant of grace 
on this head with regard to believers, is this: That God will 
abiolutely fo provide for the prefervation of his people, that they 
- fhall never lofe his favour, nor relapfe from a {late of grace and 
falvation, into a {rate of condemnation and wrath. — If you en- 
quire where the covenant-promife for this end lies ? 1 (hall read 

t Ifei. xiii. i3, 19, 20, 2i. X Zech. ii. .5. 

Let. 13. ( 310 ) 

it to you- The mountains (hill depart, and the hills he remov- 
ed, but my kindnefs fhall not depart from thee, neither fhall the 
covenant of my peace he removed faith the Lord that hath mercy 
on thee. -j- Here you fee mention made of God's covenant with 
his people as a covenant of peace and reconciliation, a covenant 
by which amity and concord is introduced between the parties at 
variance with one another, and alfo a covenant by which the 
peace is fecured. And one would imagine, that if God's anger 
be turned away, he will never turn away his people. — Moreover 
this covenant is ratified and confirmed by the bleed of Jefus: 
" For where a teftament is, there muft of neceflity be the death 
of the Teftator. For a teftament is of force after men are dead; 
otherwife it is of no force at all while the Teftator liveth.' , But 
why all this ado about the covenant of ^race ? Why doth God 
fwear it fhall never be removed ?* Why did Chrift die for its con- 
firmation, if after all it can be broken ? Do you reply, God will 
keep his covenant, if we keep it. And will you ftill fuhjeel: the 
unchangeable God to the capricious changeable will of the crea- 
ture. He is of one mind, and who can turn him. But is there 
any fuch condition as this mentioned in this covenant of peace ? 
No, it is exprefTed in the moft ahfolute terms that it fhall never 
he removed. " He will not break it, for he is faithful, and he 
cannot deny himfelf." He entered into this covenant with all 
believers for this very end, that by virtue hereof they mould be 
preferved in a ftate of grace until they reach glory. God hath 
fo made it, that if we cannot keep it, it will keep us. 

If the covenant which God made with our firft patents had had 
this confirmatory claufe in it, which the covenant we are now 
fpeaking of has, the Devil mie:ht have f pa red his pains in tempt- 
ing them. But the promife of life to them was entirely fufpended 
upon their perfect, perfonal, and unremitting obedience to the 
will of their creator. It is very ftrange that men have fuch an 
inclination to turn the covenant of grace into a covenant of 
works. For, if God in entering into a covenant with his peo- 
ple, would addrefs them in this language, I now pawn my word, 
and pledge my faithful nefs for the performance, that if you do 
not break this my covenant, I will be your God for ever and 
ever, and in due time ye fhall reap everlafting life : But I leave 
it to yourfelves ; for notwithstanding of my mercy and faithful- 
nefs contained and manifefted in my covenant; notwithftanding 
of the forrowful life, and bitter agonies of my Son on the crofs, 
in procuring your falvation, you muft work for eternal life, and 


t Ifai. liv. 10. 

Let. 13. ( 3" ) 

if yefa ; l in this ye fhall perifh for ever. £ Why, is not this pla- 
cing the Saints now on the very fame footing with Adam in his' 
primitive integrity ? If this be not turning the covenant of grace 
into a covenant of works, I profefs myfelf ignorant both of the 
one, and the other. In a word, fuch an hypothecs is entirely 
fubverfive of the whole fcheme of falvation by grace, through the 
redemption that is in drift Jefus. 

But further, to put this matter beyond all difpute, we find this 
covenant-promife more amply infilled upon, and in more expli- 
cit terms by another infpired prophet, f I (ball read the whole 
text to you. — And they fhall be my people, and I will be their 
God: — I — And I will give them one heartland one way, that 
they may fear me for ever. And I will make an everlajiing cove- 
nant w;th them, that I wilt not turn away from them to do them 
good: But I will put my fear in their hearts, that they jhall not 
depart from me. Why, what greater fecurity for the final perfe- 
verance of the Saints could we wifh for, than is contained in thefc 
words: Unlefs we are determined at all hazards, implicitly to 
follow the dictates of fallible men, without refolving our faith in- 
to the teftimony of a God of infinite veracity, and immutable 
lability. It is ftrange, that notwithstanding all that God hath 
promifed, and fworn for the fecurity of his people, yet men will 
maintain the contrary. If his covenant be everlafting, if he 
will not turn away from his people to do them good ; if he puts 
his fear in their hearts for this very end, that they fhall never de- 
part from him; doth not thefe things place the fecurity of their 
ftate upon the mo ft firm bails, and prove to a demonstration that 
the Saviour hath not fhed his blood in vain ? 

May not the final perfeverance oi the Saints in a ftate of grace 
until they reach glory be proven, from the Fathers donation of 
them to Chrift, and their union to him as their bleiTed head ? 
My ffather, (fays he) wh ch gave them me is greater than all, 
and none is able to p'uck them out of my Father's hand. || Now 
can we pofliSly imagine, that the Eternal Father will fuffer the 
inheritance beft-owed upon his Son by virtue of his furety under- 
. to be alienated and become the pcflcfiion and propriety 
of any other? We can fcarcely imagine that fin, Satan, or the 
world, are poiTdLd of fo much power or influence as to make a 
feizure of drift's poftcflion thus fafely lodged in the hands of 


t By the gofpel-fcheme of falvation through the atonement of Chrift, 
;n work not for, but from a principle of life, from Chrift the prince 

t Jer. xxxii. 38, 39, 40. U John x. 29. 

men work not 
of life 

Let. 13. ( J,* ) 

omnipotence. — All thy Saints are in thy hand.'} — Perhaps yon 
may reply, that it is true that none (hall be able to pluck them 
out of God's hand, unlefs they do it thcmfelves. But I hope you 
will grant, before this can he done there mud necefTarily take 
place a total change of the will, and a thorough dcilruction of 
thefe good and perfed gifts, (I mean the graces of the Holy Ghoft 
implanted in their fouls,) which comet h down from the Father 
&f lights, with whom is no variahlencfs, neither (hadow of turn- 
ing. Upon this fuppofition, and in order to make good your ob- 
j:&iop, the immutability of God mull be denyed. Thefe gra- 
ces Gome from him, " with whom is no variablenefs, neither 
(hadow of turning:" But he never can change in his purpofe, 
nor alter the word that is gone out of his mouth. The gifts and 
callings ol God, are without repentance: And why? Becaufc 
thefe gifts partake of his own invariaMenefs. They cannot die, 
nor be changed to any other purpofe or end, than what their blef- 
fed donor defigned them for. Do you imagine, that it is pofii- 
ble that thofe to whom thefe invariable gifts are bellowed can be 
guilty of any unworthy action, or fall into any atrocious crime 
that an omnifcient God did not forefee prior to the beflowmtnt 
of grace on them ? And in this cafe, can it it be fuppofed that 
any fubftquent caufe can poflibly happen, why an immutable 
God mould withdraw thefe graces, which would not as well have 
hindered his beftowment of them at firft ? 

I hope you will a^ree with me that a natural body ence irt'be- 
ing can never be reduced to nothing: And upon this principle, 
why fhould things of a fpiritual fubftance be annihilated ? -Are 
not all believers born of incorruptible feed, which liveth, andabi- 
deth for ever ? And as is the feed, fuch undoubtedly will be' the 
fru t. Hohnefs is the feed of glory; grace is glory in the hud, 
glory is grace in perfedion : " He that believeth hath everlafting 
ltfe."f Now if this plain and exprefs afTertion of our Lord's 

§ Deut. xxxiii. 3. 

t Some maintain that in order for r clual falvation, it i$ not only ne- 
ceffary that we h?ve faith, but the full afTurance of it ; i. e. unlefs that 
we are fully nfliired that we mail be faved we are in a (late of condem- 
nation. I would refer fuch to the decision of an infpired prophet on 
this head ; and if I can underfland the plained language, he is decidedly 
againft fuch an hypothefis. Ifai. 1. 10. Who is among you tha.t/rar- 
etb the Lord y that obcyeth the voice of his fervant, that ivatketh in dark- 
nefs, and hath no Ught y let him truft in the name of the Lord, and (lay 
himfelf upon his God. To found this alarming fentence in the ears of 
poor ignorant finners, that unlefs they are certain that they fhall r>e fav- 
ed, or in other words, that they fell thrift in tlxm; is certainly nj6t the 

•WW 7 wa y 

Let. 13. ( 313 ) 

r, cans anything, it certainly conveys this idea to u c ; that fiith 
fectresthe clrdian ftgain.ftall attacks from the Devil, the world, 
and the fklh ; Hi, it neither one nor ail of hefe fhal! ever be at le to 
pluck them out of the Fathers hand. DeuVoy it not for a bleifmg 

15 in it: Ifai vL 5, 8. Moreover, let us carefully attend to 

our Lord's reasoning r n this head ; is it not to allure all bclevers, 
that their enemies (hall never have it in their power to make a 
prey of them, or tempt them to make fuch a foolifn bargain as 
voluntarily to r-fign their former matter, and engage in the fer- 

vice of fin, Satan, and the world- Our Lord's argumentation 

here muft be very inconc'uhve, ir after his fheep are lafely lodg- 
ed in his hand, and the hand cf the Father, they can eeafe to be 
his fheep, and of their own accord, by their fin, fly out of his 
hands, although not ptpeked out by any of their adverfaries. It 
makes no odds, whether the Devil, cr ourfelves, pluck us from 
God: Whether it were curfelves, or Satan that demolifhed the 
fpiritual building, and brought the temple of the Holy Ghod to 
deftru&ion. The truth is, all genuine believers are in better hands 
than their own, preferved by a power which neither hell nor 
earth can overcome, and which no temptations can baffle. By 
this means do ycu reply, an end is put toall felf-gloriation, and 
the finews of pharifaical pride for ever cut ; and that he that glo- 
rieth mud g'o;y in the Lord: And why net. Stand by I am 
holier than thou, is not the language of a genuine chridian, but 
of a prou^ pharifee. 

Again let us confi.-ier the union of all believers to Chrid their 
head, which will confirm the truth of their abfolute and final per - 
fevcrance in a date of grace, until they obtain the end of their 
faith the faivation of their fou's. The bonds of this union arc 
two; faith on our part, and the FIolv Ghod nn God's part: Now, 
thefe are a twofold cord which will not be eafily broken. 1 told 
you already, that after the fin plantation of the grace of faith in 
the heart of a believer, it could not be loft nor deftroyed; nei- 
ther can the Holy Ghoft after he hath taken pofleflion of the foul 
be banifhed from thence, unlets by a power fuperior to his Al- 
mighty arm. Now st is not eafy to conceive after a believer is 
thus united to Chrid, how he can be fcparatcd. The nearnefs of 
this mutual union is held forth in Scripture by a variety of meta- 
phors; fuch as the relation between the foundation and the 
building; between the vine and the branches; the Father and 
children; hufband and wife, head and members: Yea, we find 


way to make genuine converts : But I know not a more ready method 
to make downright hypocrites: To fend men to the other world with 
their eyes fhut. 

Let. 13. ( 314 ) 

Chrift and his people both interchangeably obtaining the fame 
name, Jacob and Cbri/t.f Believers are fo nearly related* to 
Jefus that they are faid to he bone of his bone and flefh of his 
flelh, yea to he one fpirit. J Jefus and his people are actuated by 
one fpirit, as the head and members of the fame body, by one 
foul; and this is the reafon why believers cannot walk after the 
flefb. The fpirit of life which is in Chrift Jefus their head and 
root rules in them, and fubdues every thought and afTe&ion, paf- 
fion, and defire to the obedience of Chrift. Now, their being 
thus united to Chrift, they are preferved in him as Noah was in 
the ark, as the branches in the ftock. " They are complete in 
him." They are fo one with him, that whatsoever he did, the 
fame are they faid to do : Circumcifed with him ; crucified with 
him; buried with him; and they are fajd to rife, and afcend 
with him, and to fit in heavenly places "Vith him. Believe me 
Super-has, it is as impoflible for belrevers to mifcarry totally and 
finally, as k was for Chrift to be held under the power of death. 
There is one law for both : c( This is a faithful faying, if we be 
dead with him, we fhall alfo live with him ; if we luffer with him, 
we fhall be alfo glorified together." As Chnft once railed, dieth 
no more; fo none of all his fpiritual feed, raifed with him to a 
life of grace here, can poftibly mifs a life of eternal glory hereaf- 
ter. His care of them is fo peculiar, that of all that the Father 
hath given him he will lofe nothing, but will prefent them fault- 
Fefs and blamelefs, without fpot or wrinkle at the laft day i This 
wift be his triumphant language, " behold I, and the children 

which thou haft given me."< 1 fhall juft add further here, that 

Chrift and his feed being one body myftical, if one member 
that body was loft, the body would be imperfect; but how harfh- 
}y doth the phrafe an rmferfefi Cbrijf, found. 

Again, I might argue for the perfeverance of the Saints in a 
#ate of grace, from their being the purchafe of his blopd, the tra- 
vail of his foul. Did he purchafe them with fuch corruptible 
chings as filver and gold ? No, but with his precious blood ; with 
the dreadful horrors of his foul, and the moil extreme toiturcb 
of his body; by an accurfed death, accompanied with the pains 
of fpiritual and eternal death. Can any one reafonably luppofe, 
that Chrift would fuffer thofe whom he purchafed at fo dear a 
rate, to fall by their rapacious enemies from him, and fo fall un- 
der the power of another, and even of him who is his moft im- 
placable enemy ? What, will not Jefus protect and defend them 
■who arc now become his own peculiar property, and that by right 


f Pfal. xxiv. 6. 1 Cor. xii. 12. 

t Eph. v. 30. 1 Cor. vi. 17. 

Let. 13. C 315 ) 

of redemption ? Why did he condefcend to purchafe them at aH, 
particularly at inch a vaft cxpence, if after all he muft lo!e his 
labour, and believers their fouls ? And cannot he preferve them, 
unle's they arc willing to keep themfelves ? " The hearts or" 
men are in his hand." Cannot that Almighty Saviour who ex- 
tricated therh in firft converfion from the hands of the Devil, 
and the reigning power of fin, preferve them hy the fame all -effi- 
cacious power from falling a prey to thefe deadly foes ? Yes, he 
is both able and willing to pre'erve and keep them from all evil, 
and will actually do io. Thofc, (fays he) whom thou haft given 
me, 1 have kepi, and none or them is loft hut the Son of perditi- 
on; for this reafon, becaufe he was not given to the Saviour to 
be either redemed hy his blood, or fan&ified by his fpirit. He 
called JikVs to the Apoftleihip, but he never beftowed on him his 
grace. " Jems knew who were his." He knew from the be- 
ginning, that Judas was a Devil. 

Further, the final perfeverance of the Saints may be evinced 
from Chrift's interceflion for them. Here it might be afked, 
whether or not, is our Lord Jems Chrift prevalent in all his fuits 
with regard to his people ? He refolves this query himfelf; John 
xii. 42. I know that thou heareft me always. What then if he 
intercedes that his people be preferved from all evil ? This we 
find is one particular part of his intercqflion for them. John 
xvii. 15, 21. I pray not that thou ihouldeft take them out of 
the world, but that thou fhouldeft keep them from the evil. By 
the evil here which our Lord prays that his people may be pre- 
ferved from, we may either underftand, the evil one, the Devil, 
or the evil thin?, fin. Now if our Lord is heard, and his people 
preferved both from the power of (in and Satan, what befides 
thefe can poflihly injure their immortal interefts, and what can 
polIiMy prevent their finally perfevering in a ftate of grace unto fal- 
vation ? And now I am no more in the world, but thefe are in the 
world, and I come to thee, Holy Father keep through thine own 
name thofe whom thou haft given me, &c. In this prayer of our 
Lord, is there the leaft conditionally ? Why tht?n do nren frame 
conditions, where there are none ? Is the condition this, that our 
Lord prays for the prefervation or his people from the evil, pro- 
viding they will keep themfelves ? But their pre ervation confifts 
in this, that they Jball be preferved by the power and grace oi 
God from all fuch moral evils as might endanger their falvation, 
or lay them obnoxious to eternal condemnation. 

Perhaps there are few or none on record, that fell into fuch an 
atrocious crime as Peter did; who alter the moft folcmn and ex- 
pi cit profeflion that his Lord and mafter was the ts Son of the 
living God," yet after all, not only limply denied that ever he 


Let. 13. ( 316" ) 

knew him, but confirmed his allegation with an oath. Bur you 
will find previous to this, Jefus told him of the malice of Satan 
agatnft him, and at the fame time, informed him of the prevalen- 
cy of his interceflion for him. I have prayed for thee that thy 
faith fail not, i. e. with regard to its principle and habit; it 
was not in the power of that malicious fpirit to eradicate that vi- 
tal principle by which Peter was mod intimately united to, and 
connected with his Lord and mailer. 

I imagine, a very ftrong argument for the final perfeverance of 
the Saints, may be drawn from the inhabitation of the Holy Ghoft 
in their hearts. The fpirit of grace having vanquifhed Satan 
the ftrong man, and expelled him from his throne, takes poflcfli- 
on of the believer's foul, refides there alone, and for ever. This 
ineftimablc privilege flows to the Saints both from CltfiiVs death 
and interceflion. The former procures a vent, the latter fecures 
his a£tual million into their hearts. We have a fpecimen of what 
he is now interceding for, and will perfevere in, until all his f pi - 
ritual feed be brought home to glory in John xiv. 16, 17. And 
I will pray the Father and he Ihall give you another comforter, 
that he may abideivitb you for ever, even the fpirit cf truth, whom 
the world cannot receive, becaufe it feeth him not, neither know- 
eth him : But ye know him, for he dvjclletb vjith y:v, and (hall 
be in you. It is true,, that the Holy Ghoft may be fo grieved Sv 
believers, asfometimes to depart with regard to his influences for 
their comfort and confolation ; yet he abides in them continually 
as the fource of their fpiritual life, and the bond of therr union 
with Chrift. In this fenfe David prays that God would not take 
his Holy Spirit from him, i. e. that he would grant Kim thole 
influences of the Holy Ghoft for reftoring him to that life, love, 
and liberty, which he formerly experienced ; hut were now f'uf- 
pended on the account of his apoftacy and backfliding from God. 
<f Reftore to me, (fays he) the joy of thy falvation, and uphold 
me with thy free fpirit." . > . The Holy Ghoft dwells in all be- 
lievers, as the fpring ani fource of eternal life; for this anion •▼ 
other reasons, is he called the fpirit of life, f Ke is figuratively 
defcribed as a well of living water, fpringmg up to eternal life. $ 
Now the nature of that life infufed into helicvers in the day of re- 
generation and effc&ual calling, is very different from that which 
was in Adam in a ftate of innocency, even although that origi- 
nated from the very fame principle; for in that ftate, man was 
Jeft to himfelf without any promife of the conftant inhabitation 
of the fpirit. 

The life of believers whereof the Holy Ghoft is the fource and 
fpring, flows alfo from the life of Chrift. Gal. ii._ 20. Never- 

t Rom. viii. 3. § John iv* 1*4. 

Let. 13. ( .317 } 

thelefs I live, yet not I, but Chrift that liveth in me. The Lord 
Jefus Chrift is not only perfonally with the Father, on his glo- 
rious throne in Heaven, but he is alfo living; by his fpirit in the 
hearts of al' believers. " ' The life of the Saints is the fruit 
and effect of Chrift's atonement and merit, and therefore mud be 
perpetual and eternal, unlefs we maintain that Chrift has loft his 
pains: But he fhall fee of the travail of his foul and fhall be fatis- 

fied.- Let us take notice of that remarkable expreffion of 

Paul, Col. iii. 3. Ye are dead, and your life is hid with 
Chrift in God. If you afk, to what are believers dead ? I an- 
i'wer, to fin, Satan, and the world. This life of believers, cr 
that holy energy and activity, which refultsfrom that communi- 
on of the fpirit of Chrift which commences in grace, and termi- 
nates in ^lory, is oftentimes hid from themfelves. It is impofli- 
ble to attain to an adequate knowledge of the manner in which 
the Hoi v Ghoft infufes this divine principle into their fouls. The 
wind bloweth where it lifteth, we hear the found thereof, hut we 
cannot tell from whence it cometh, nor whither it gocth, fo is 
every one that is born of the Spirit. || How myfterious and inex- 
plicable are the effeds of this divine energy whereby, believers are 
oftentimes filled with joy unfpeakable and fuil of glory, f 

The life of believers is hid from the view of the world : For as 
Chrift who is their life, is not (ccn by the world, fo neither doth 
the world know how they live in Chrift, and Chrift in them. And 
as the life o( believers is hid in point of fecrecy in a great mea- 
fure from themfelves, and with regard to the world an entire fe- 
cret ; fo it is hid with Chrift in God, in point of fecurity and fafe- 
ty. The jife of God's children like a precious treafure, is laid up 
in a fecret place, where the evil fpirit cannot reach it, nor take it 
away, either by open force, or fecret ftratagem. The Devil, the 
world, and the flefh, may confult, but confult in vain aeainft 
God's hidden ones. J Their life is hid with Chrift, to v/hofeca^e 
and cuftody it is committed ; and who but he is able to keep that 
good thing when is committed to him arainft that day. $ Our 
life is hid with Chrift in God, i. e. it is contained in the decree 
and love purpofe ot God, who, in his own time will make it rhf- 
nifeft for what end he loved us in Chrifl. The bofom o( God is tr e 
facred repofitory, and the fecure afylum in which that precious 
treafure is hid. Js it poffible, think you Superbus. that the life of 
a believer can be loft when thus lecured with Chnft in Gou } 

It may alfo be noticed here, that the fame fpirit who is the au- 
thor of eternal life to believers, is alfo the feal wherewith thev are 


II John iii. 5. t 1 Pet. i. 5. 

X Pfal. Lutxiii. 3. $ a Tim. i. 12. 

Let. 13. ( 318 ) 

jfealed, and that to the day of redemption. To feal any thing 
eonfifts in leaving the impreflion of the image which is on the teal 
upon the thing fealed, in order for the greater confirmation of the 
contents. This fealing of believers unto the day. of led-mption, 
eonfifts in the effectual communication of that divine li^ht, puri- 
ty, holinefs and righteoufnefs, goodnefs, blcfTtrd.-iefs, and joy; 
which in part are to be found in all believers, of which the firft 
lines are drawn in regeneration ; and in this eonfifts the writing 
on the heart by the Holy Spirit. " Ye are our epiflle, (fays 
the Apoftle Paul) written, not with ink, but with the fpirit of the 
living God." And after faith reaches to more ftrength and fta- 
btlitv, after it comes to be more energetic and operative, all thele 
things come to be more ftrengthened, increafed, and more deeply 
imprinted by the Holy Ghoft; and in this deeper impiellion con- 
firms the fealing of believers, by the view and fenfe of which, they 
come to the full affurance of faith that they are the children of 

Now is not this fealing of the fpirit an indubitable evidence 
that the believer fliall never be fhaken, but fhall perfevere unto 
the end? Therefore we find the Apoftle with good reafon joins 
their eftablifhment in the faith with this fealing. " He which 
eftablifheth us with you in Chrift, and hath anointed us is God; 
who hath alfo fealed us." The almoft incredible goodnefs of 
God here appears; he not onl) promifes the believer that he will 
not depart from him, but will fo order it, that he fhall never de- 
part from him; and this he not only ratifies and inviolably con- 
firms by his facred promife and oath, but with his own finger en- 
graves thefe promifes on the hearts of all believers, to confirm his 
faith in this important and confolatory doctrine. 

The Holy Ghoft not only feals believers to the day of redemp- 
tion, but is alfo an earneft of their inheritance. Eph. i. 14. 
Which is the earned of our inheritance, until the redemption of 
thepurchafed pofleffion, unto the praifeof his glory. Now, you 
know that an earned is a part of the price given before hand, and 
an affurance that the reft fhall in due time follow. Thofe gifts 
and graces of the Holy Ghoft which were already mentioned, arc 
a part of the future happinefs of all believers, and a certain and 
fure token, that in fome future period, they fhall obtain the whole 
fum. That inheritance of which the fpirit is an earneft, is called 
the inheritance of the children of God, becaufe it is perpetual, 
and can never be alienated from the pofTefTors. Whoever has it, 
has it continually from the very firft moment of pofleffion in re-' 
generation, through all the ages of eternity.— —Therefore it may 
fafely be concluded, that they who have once received the Holy 
Ghoft, cannot poflibly make fhip-wreck of their faith, nor forfeit 


Let. 13. ( 319 ) 

the heavenly inheritance; becaufe in this cafe the Holy Ghoft 
behoved to he a fallacious earned, which would be the height of 
blafphemy once to fuppofe. 

I {hall have done Superbus by adding one argument more, ta- 
ken from the end for which God created believers anew in (Thrift 
Jefus ; which certainly mud be to glorify God, and to be glorifi- 
ed with God : Now, neither of thefe can pofliMy be attained by 
believers without their perfevering in a (rate of grace unto the 
end; not the former, for there can be nothing fo provoking to 
the eyes of God's glory as apoftacy and back-fliding; neither the 
Jatter, for it is he only that endureth to the end that fhall be lav- 
ed. If the do&rine of non-perfeverance were true, the great God 
would be fruflrated in his great defign of creating finners after 
his own image for his glory, and for glorifying them with him- 
felf in the regions above. That, this was the very end which an 
infinitely wife God had in his view is evident from the holy 
Scriptures. Ifaiah xliii. 7. J created him for my glory. «. 21. 
This people have I formed for myfe'r, they fnall {how forth my 
praife. Obferve alfo the language of Paul on this head, 2 Cor. 
v. where fpeaking of that celeftial building prepared for believ- 
ers, he informs us, that ihey were wrought for that felf fame 
thing. God therefore in our regeneration had this in his view- 
that we might not only be capacitated to {how forth his glory 
here, but be put in the poiTeflion of it hereafter. Now if God 
intended this, it is hard to conceive how believers can mifcarry, 
or God be fruflrated of his fcopc and defign. God's being the au- 
thor of this great and gracious work, lays the mod firm bafis for 
the faith of all believers to reft upon, that they fhall be carried 
forward to perfection; that he who hath begun the good work in 
them will carry it on to the day of Chrift. Far be it from us 
to imagine that the great God is like fome ignorant, ralh, or fal- 
lible agent, which may be furprifed by fome unlooked for acci- 
dent, circumvented by afublimer understanding, over-born by a 
fuperior power, or recede from his purpofe through levity or fic- 
klenefs of nature No, " he is wife in heart, and mighty in 
ftrength." He had eternity before him to plan his defigns, and 
thefe he laid fo furely, thattbev never can mifcarry. " He de- 
clared* the end from the beginning." It is therefore impoflihk 
for him either to do, or fuffer to be done, any thing whereby his 
counfel can be fruflrated- But, 

This is further confirmed by this compendious promife, Jer. 
xxxi. ^. I will be their God, and they fhall be my people: 
And upon the footing of this every believer may adopt this con- 
fident language; € f this God is our God for ever and ever, and 
he will be our guide over dsuh." " You feejicre God's fixed 


Let. 13. ( 320 ) 

refolution, " I will be your God," without any limitation of 
time or circumftances; q. d. though other lards have had the 
dominion over you, and although there ftili exifts a propensity in 
your natures to backflidc; I will heal your backflidings, and re- 
main your God for ever and ever. I will carry towards you as 
becomes a God to do, and by my grace will form you, and pre- 
ferve you fuch a people as becomes God to own : After creating 
vou for mv glory, I will never be afhamed to be called vour 

Now my dear Superbus, I would be very far from prefling you 
to an implicit belief of what I have juft now advanced: But I 
hope, that if there has been any thing advanced which you think 
repugnant to the holy Scriptures, you will I e fo candid as to fpeak 
your mind freely; or, if you have any objections to the doctrine 
which I have been endeavouring from the word of God to eila- 
blifh, I could wifh that without any rcferve, you would propofe 
them. You mud certainly acknowledge, that in views of eterni- 
ty, there is an abfolutc necefiity for fomc fure ground to walk 
upon, when pafiing through the dark valley and (hadow of 

M Philemon, I acknowledge that, both in point of fafety and 
tc comfort we fhould have fomc fure foundation to reft upon in 
M that critical and awful period of our diffolution. To be tofled 
" about with every wind of doctrine, or trufting the falvation oi 
4C our fouls to fuch ways and means as God never inftituted, is 
M a moil dangerous, and uncomfortable (late to enter the lifts 
if with the king of terrors, or appear before an impartial tribu- 

tC nal. But to fave time, I would afk you, whether doth not 

" the doctrine of the Saints perfeveranceopen a door to profane- 
" nefs and carnal fecurity. 1 am of the opinion, that that fyftcm 
" of doctrine, however fpecious it may appear, and however at- 
•' tracking, yet, if it in the lead degree tends to encourage licen- 
•' tioufnefs cannot be of God." 

Superbus, I perfectly coincide with yourconclufion, I cordially 
adopt your fentiment. But 1 hope to make it appear that the 
doctrine of the final perfeverance of the Saints has the very con- 
trary tendency. I hope you will agree with me in this point, 
that this do&rineis highly conducive to the comfort and confola- 
tion of believers providing it is true. This being granted then, 
I anfwer, that nothing can be effectual for promoting the com- 
fort and confolation of a Saint, which, at the fame time, is not as 

cffe&ual for fecuring the interefts of holinefs My reafon for 

faying fo is this; that in all the comforts and confolations which 
a believer is made a fharer of here, there is dill a demonftration 
cf the unbounded love of God towards him as a wretched forlorn 

(inner ; 

Let. 13. ( 321 ) 

(inner; a (inner anxious andfollicitous about the eternal Taxati- 
on of his foul; and the clearer the demonftration of thar divine 
love is, and the more particular the application, the ftron^cr is the 
confolatinn., Let therefore mo-al.fts, or h'frh-foaring hvpecrites 
pretend to what they p'eafe, t ere cannot p ffiWv he a more pow- 
erful argument to inflame the heart with love to Go3> than the 
experimental knowledge and (zn(e of the love of God (bed abroad 
in the heart. Whoever therefore mod amplifies the powerful 
grace of God in his confolation, prefents to the Saints the moll 
powerful argument, and the moil invincible motives to the love 
of God and its confequences ■ de'erves r.o 

quarter; becaufe it reflects the created difnonour on the goodnels 
and faitmulnefs of GoJ. Whv, the v;ry language of it is, 
** that God had given his people a fcorpon in (lead of a £fh." 
Would not this be in fact theca e, if he by gtvirar hem ablolute 
promifes, (fuch as I have already taken notice or; would y>:r>\z 
an indulgence to the flefh ? But Suptrbur* would ;t ne t he necelTa- 
tv in order to make good your objection, to produce a few infbn- 
ces in Vnich the doctrine of perieverance has proven fatal to the 
watchfulnefs and ho'y activity of the Saints. If you could but 
produce one, the truth or the doOrine at leal! might re lufpecled. 
Bnt i might lately aver, that from the begin ing of time To this 
pre r ent hour, there never exifted, nor ever will, a genuine believ- 
er who reafened after the following manner: '* Becaufe God 
<c hath aMolutely promifed tkat 1 (hoi I perfevcre unto the end, 
* c and to keep me by his mighty power through faith unto falva- 
" r'on ; therefore, there is no cia-.ige r of my r oul, although I 
■' (liouid relax the reins of my diligence, give f\ ing to my pre- 
*' dominant corruptions, and r.-.iVain prayer before God." I fay 

fuch an cannot be found. but I might mufter. up a 

great cloud of witneffe^o corroborate this cu.. fortat ie tn-th that, 
the doctrine ot final perfeverance is a ftfong motive, and a mod 
prevailing argument to ail manner of holy activity and diligence 
in our chriilian calling. 

Let me p r efcnt you with a fpecirren of |be cenduct c\ 
holy men of Qodj who have o! taincd trje c , the 

falvation or their touls. See with what he'y caution 2nd rfrcuim 
fpe-ction they walk, behold them all attention to their every foct- 
flep, and that even when they art hght of t'-ie go- 1 , and 

in the full aifurance that they (hall run r o as to obtain* When 
Chrift who is our life (fays Paul) (hall appear, then (hail ye- 
alfo appear with him in glory. Take notice of his exhortation. 


Let. 13. ( 322 ) 

Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth. J 

We know fays the beloved Ap^ftle, that when he (hall appear, 
we (hall be like him. And what is the fruit of this knowledge ? 
Every man that hath this hope in him, purifieth him felf even as 
he is pure, f — Obferve again Paul's language to the Corinthi- 
ans. For we know that if the earthly houfc of this tabernacle 
were difTblved, we have a building of God, an houfe not made 
with hands, eternal in the heavens. See the -effect of this aflu- 
rance. Wherefore we labour, that whether prefent or abfent we 
may be accepted of him. } I will -be a father unto you, and ye 
(hall be my fons and daughters, faith the Lord God Almighty. 
Upon the footing of this abforate promife, the Apoftle takes occa- 
sion to found an exhortation to all manner of gofpel-holinefs: 
Having therefore thefe promifes, (dearly beloved) Let us cleanle 
ourfelves from all filthinefsof the fleih and of the fpirit, perfecting 
holinefs in the fear of God, 2 Cor. vi. 18. chap. vii. 1. 
From what fouree did the knowledge of thefe men with regard 
to their final perfeverance flow ■? From no other, than the abso- 
lute promi'e of God: For if God had not abfolotely ascertained 
it by promife, that they had a building with God; that they 
fnould appear with him in glory ; it would have been the higheft 
prefumpnon, and the mod arrogant boldnefs to have talked at 
iuch a rate. 

If in Angel was to defcend from Heaven and announce to you 
that fifteen years were to be added to your days, as was the cafe 
with Hezekiah: Would yon for this Teafon, refrain from food, 
and (light every mean for the prciervation of your lift ? Did not 
God abfolutely promife that he would fave JeruCalcm from the 
hand of the King of AfTyria who then befieged it? Did they 
upon the rooting of this promife, drawoff their guards., and grow 
remifs and carelcfs ? No luch a thing ; common Icnle would teach 
them other wife.— * — My dear friend, grace is a fpark of that ce- 
leftial fire which cannot furvive out of its own element, nor ran 
all waters under Heaven quench it. The true chriftian is a par- 
taker of the divine nature, and fo, loves and hates whatever Go d 
loves and "hates. According to the meafure of grace granted 
hm, he will cleave to God in every Rate. w If he fave me I 
i'.l! fervc bin , If he flay me yet will I truft in him." In life 
fend tenth, I w || be the Lord's. This is the natural drfpofition 
of the new creature ; it favours only the things which are of God : 
And chc higher bi^ aiTurance riles, the more he is aloft and above 
the allurement of all carnal gratifications. 

" Iaflc 

t Coll. iii. 2, 5. t 1 John iii. 2, 3. § 2 Cor. v. t, 9. 

Let. 13. ( 323 ) 

cc I a(k Philemon, if the doctrine of final perfeverance be true, 
" how can the glory of the divine perfections be afccitained ? 
•f Would it be for the glory and honour of an infinitely holy 
" God to prefer vc the divine principle of grace in the heart of 
" a finner, notwithstanding a courfe of apoiracy and backfli- 
*' ding ?" 

Superbus, I anfwer nothing has a greater tendency to illultrate 
the glory of the divine perfections than the prefervaticn of Fas fin- 
ning people in a (late of grace and falvation, notwithstanding of 
their daily failings; and their yielding to Satan's tempt J> ms, 
and the deceitful working of their own mind?, in an ung: anfcd 
hour : Yea, I dare affirm, that the contrary doctrine tends :© ob- 
fcure and' cad a vail over aU the perfection, ofrhs divine nature. 

Is not the Almighty power of God glorioufly difpjaved whsn, ■ 
notwithitanding all the power of our invifible foes., and the 
Strength of inward corruption, he preferves that divine fpark of 
grace, and at length makes tC worm Jacob threfii the mountains, 
and beat them fmall as the duit;" makes him ride triumphant 
over all the power of the enemy. When we proclaim the power 
and might of our fpi ritual foes, we can triumphantly celebrate 
our glorious guardian as Almighty.-* Is not the faithfulnefs and 
veracity of God illuitriouily difplayed when we maintain, thai. 
notwithstanding of the partial apoitacy of his Saints, he will not 
deny himfelf, by breaking the word which has gone out of his 
mouth: That the promifes of the new covenant ratified and con- 
firmed to them, (hall never be difan ul led .—-. — -We alfo proclaim 
the goodnefs of the divine nature when we maintain, that God 
never will reject: or d. (inherit his children after he has proclaimed 
%< ye are my people, and I will be your God." The goodnefs of 
his nature will never permit to catt them out of his family, and 
from all communion with himfelf; but if they forfake his law 
and walk not in the way of his commandments, then by his fa* 
therly chaftifements he graciouHy recover*, them, and itirs them 
upagain to renew their faith and repentance. 

By alTerti-ng the final perfeverance of the Saints, we at the 
fame time afTert and maintain the all-powerful advocation cf our 
Lord Jefus Chriit within the vail ; whereby having obtained an 
eternal inheritance for his people in g'ory, he is able by his con- 
tinual intercefiion topreferve his weak and finning people for that 
inheritance, notwithstanding of al! the obftru&ions and difficul- 
ties which may occur in their way to that bleffed land. 

In a word, we by afTert ing the final perfeverance of the Saints 
proclaim the all-efficacious power of the Holy Ghoft, who, fo pre- 
ferves his my itical temple, that it can neither bedeftroyed, norhe 

Y Z 

Let. 13. ( 324 ) 

made an habitation of impure fpirits. Now Svperbuf, the con- 
trary rlo&rinc tends to obfeure the div ne perfe&ions, enervate the 
intercefiion of Jefus, and proclaims the impotency of the Holy 
Ghoft, who for the prcvalcncy of Satan, mud defert his habi- 

" I afk you again Philemon if one in whofe heart this divine 
" principle of faith is wrought cannot certainly lo e it; whv is 
V it nccclTary to caution believers to take heed lead they fall, 
" and to look to themfelves that they lofe not the things which 
" they have wrought ?" 

I anfwer Superbus, that a righteous man may fall, yea, the 
greateft Saints have Humbled and fallen ; but the queftion is, 
did ever a righteous man fall into mifchief ? No, the righteous 
man may fall feven times a day, but as often doth he rile again ; 
while the wicked fall into mifchief. And why doth the righte- 
ous man ri'e again ? Becaufe the Lord upholdeth him with his 
hand. The Lord upholdeth all that fall, i. e. cither to fupport 
them when falling, or to order the matter fo, that they fhall tri- 
umphantly rife again. The greateft Saints that we have on re- 
cord in Scriprure f c II, and fell into the mod grievous fins, and 
the mod heinous tranfgreflions; but can we fay, or have we any 
w.irr in- to fay, that they fell from a ftate of grace, into a ftate of 
condemnation ? There are a variety of weighty confederations to 
move a true believer to take heed to his ways, and ponder his 
paths, to prevent him from falling, without fuppofing his final 
apoftacy : As the danger of breaking a man's bones is ground fuf- 
ficient for care and watchfulnefs, although he were fure that his 
neck frnuld be fafe. The difhonour done to his heavenly Fa- 
ther, the reproach caft upon his dear Redeemer, the grieving 
and vexing the Holy Ghort, the fcandal.zing the good ways of 
God, catting a (tumbling before the weak, flrengthening the 
hands or the wicked ; in a word, interrupting the believer's com- 
munion and peace with GoJ ; thefe confederations I fay will have 
their due weight and influence on him to take heed to his ways 
left he fall, without fuppofing him to fa 1 1 from a ftate of grace 

into damnation. T >et n.e here further obfen'e, that God brings 

about his purpofes of grace with reference to believers by means, 
of which cautions to watchfulnefs are a part; and by he 
preferves his Saints from the evil cautioned again ft. I (hall il- 
luftrate this from 1 J^hn ii. 28. where the A poftle exhorts be- 
lievers to abide in Chrift, whom certain protefTors had relinquifh* 
ed, v. 19. A'kI, as pu r pofcly intending to obviate this objecti- 
on, he tells them, that they (hall abide in htm, v. 27. ufing 
this as an a^u.iv.-nf and motive to excite them to a con V tentious 
and careful performance of their duty. As for the other Scrip- 

Let. 13. ? . ( 325 ) 

ture you advanced, viz. look to ourfelves that we lofe not the 
things which we have wrought; I anfwer thus, that believers 
have more to lofe than their fouls. May they not for a feafon 
fofe the comfort and feeling rente of the fafety of theii {late ? This 
is evident from 'he cafe of David, He man, and others. This 
a man may lofe without lofin^ his foul. i( But Pbile'minj are 
*' we hot exprefsly to'd in Ezekief, chap, xviii y. 24. that a 
*< righteous man may turn from his righteoufnefs and certainly 
'* die? But when the. righteous turneth away from his righte- 
i( oqfnefs andcommitteth iniquity, and doth according to a!! t K .e 
*' abominations that the wicked man doth, fhall he live? All 
l< his righteoufnefs that he hath done fhall not be mcnr.ored: 
4i In his trefpafs that he hath trefpafTed, and in his fin th?t he 
* € hath finned, in them fha'l he die. Now is it not evident 
*' from this that a righteous man may not only lofe his rtghte- 
ft oufnefs, but turn 10 abandoned as to be poiiiively guilty of 
*' all the deeds of the wicked, and confequently lofe his foul at 
*' length; for are we not oofitively toid that he (hall die ?" 

Permit me to obferve to you Supewbus, that there is a twofold 
righteoufnefs, a moral and an evangelical righteoufnefs; the for- 
mer may be loft, but not the latter. The former Paul had in an 
eminent degree, (i for as touching the righteoufnefs which is in 
the law, he was blamelefs;" this you know he abandoned and 
gave up with as the ground of his tuftificatinn before God, for 

that righteoufnefs which is of God by faith. f- Thisrg' teouf- 

nels a man may have, and yet We, from the paths o\ morality he 
may turn, and run into all manner of vice and impiety, and 
eveilauingly perifh : And even tfrsaman may retain to the 
Jail, and yet at the lail perifh; for this reafon, it is not the righte- 
oufnefs which is of God hy faith, the only ground of a {inner' s 
jufttflcatjon in the fight of God. How often have we feen men 
of feemingly virtuous character*, and who have made at the 
fame time a moll flaming profefiion, turn entirely profligate, 
and trampling under their feet the laws both of God and 

But hefides this, there is an evangelical righteoufnefs ; and this 
ta either imputed or inherent; which, whoever are poffefled of can 
never Me, nor finally perifh. The former confifts in the obe- 
dience and fufferings of the Lord of Glory imputed 'o the finner, 
and received by faith alone. " Their righteoufnefs is or me 
faith the Lord." " Surely fhall one fay in Jehovah have 1 
righteoufnefs." There is alfo an inherent rigrTtebufnefs, confin- 
ing in the communication of the gifts and graces of the B ly 
"Ghoft, by whicli we are made partakers of the divine na' r e. 

t Philip, iii. 

Let. 13. ( 326 ) 

Now thefe two arc infeparably conjoined, and can by no means 
be loll. Whom God juftifies, he alfo fancYifies, and whom he 

fancYifics he will afluredly glorif\. The righteoufnefs Ipoken 

of in the afore-cited text confined in an external Gonformity to 
the moral law; and this was the condition upon which the Jews 
polTefied the land of Canaan with the promife of Ion g life and 
profperity. If they turned from this, or in the words of the text, 
if they lot! this righteoufnefs, they run dire&ly into a forfeiture 
bo h of life and property. 

But to be a little more particular here Superbus, as you feem to 
lay a great ftrefs on the text you !aft cited; you are to take no- 
tice that you will find a key for opening up and explaining the 
whole chapter in v. 2. What mean ye, (faith God) that ye ufe 
this proverb concerning; the land of Ifrael., faying, the fathers 
have eaten four grapes, and the children's teeth are fct on edge ? 
The plain meaning of this proverb when ftripped of its figurative 
drefs is this, a complaint that their fathers had finned, and they 
were made to bear their iniquities. From hence they concluded 
the injuftice cF the Lord's procedure with them; v. 25. yet ye 
fay the way of the Lord is not equal. Hear now O •houfe of If- 
rael, is net my way equal ; v. 29. Yet faith the houfe of Ifrael, 
the way of the Lord is not equal. That generation entertained 
a very flattering opinion of their own righteoufnefs, they could 
not fee in a eonfiftency with the jufYiceof God,how hefhould take 
fuch exemplary vengeance on them as to give them into the hands 

of their enemies, except it was. for the fins of their fathers. 

The Lord fhows them in order to convince them of the re&itude 
of his procedure, that whatever their fathers did, or whatever 
enormities they had been guilty of, if they had not followed their 
fodtlteps, but had done that which was lawful and right, no ene- 
my fliould have entered inio the land which the Lord gave them 
for a ponefTion, their fouls mould have lived, their temple mould 
not have been laid in afhes, nor their country depopufatcd. Hear 
the Lord's reafoning on this head with that iinful people; v. 5. 

But if a man be juft, and do that which is lawful and right. 

v. 6. And hath not eaten upon the mountains, neither hath litt 
up his eyes to the idols of the houfe of Ifrael, neither hath defiled 
his neighbour's wife, neither hath come near to a menftruous 
woman; v. 8. And hath not opprefled any, but hath reftored 
to the debtor his pledge, hath fpoiled none by violence, hath gi- 
ven his bread to the hunsrry, and hath covered the naked with a 

garment, &c. He is juil; he frail furely live faith the Lord. 

Now upon the footing of this righteoufnefs the Lord promifes long 
life and profperity in the land which he gave them to poflefs : 
And alfo that this righteoufnefs might be loft is clear from v. 24. 


Let. 13. ( 327 ) 

But when the righteous, (namely fuch a one as was juft now 
defcribed) turneth away from his righteoufnefs, and committeth 
iniquity, and doth according to all the abominations that the 
wicked man doth (hall he live ? All his righteoufnefs that he hath 
done (hall not be mentioned : In his trefpafsthat he hath trefpafs- 
ed, and in his fin that he hath finned, in them fhall he die. 

Permit me to obferve here Suptrkus y that both the threatning 
of death, and the promife of life upon the footing of their obedi- 
ence or difobedience was purely of a temporal nature. God doth 
not here prescribe and lay down the conditions upon which their 
fouls were to be faved, but how their lives were to be pro'onzed. 
1 imagine,, that the righteoufnefs of Paul in his unconverted ftare 
was in breadth and length equal to that here prefcribed, as the 
condition of temporal (not eternal) life. Yet I prefume you 
will not be fo boid as to maintain that that righteoufnefs would 
have been fuftained valid by the juftice of God to deliver him 
from condemnation, and ascertain his title to eternal life. Or, 
e righteoufnefs here mentioned was fully fumcient to procure 
eternal life; I might alk, why was Chrift promifed, or why did 
he come ? Why* did he live a forrowful life* and die an accurfed 
death for us ? 

n I might obferve .here, that the death arid life mention- 
ed in this chapter are ufed Iq fignify the externa! diipenfations 
o\ God's providence as to what concerned the good or evil which 
he would bring upon his peopie in confequence of their obedience 
or difenedience to his word ; This I think will evidently appear 
bv confuting the 28, 29, and 30 chapters of Deut. In thefe 
ciapters vou will find that after Moles had promised the greatefl 
. ty and happinefs in the land which the Lord was to 
give tnem for a potTVJim, if they would obey the voice of the 
Lo!"d: And alfo at the 'rime time had threatned them with the 
moll difmal calamities in confequence of their difobedience; he 
.adds, chap. xxx. v. 15 See i have let before thee this day 
life and good, and death and evil; v. 16. In that I command 
thee this day to love the Lord thy God, to walk in his ways, 
and to keep his commandments, and his ftatutes, and his judg- 
ments that thou may ell live and multiply : And the Lord thy 
God fhall blefs thee in the land whither thou goeft. to pofTefs it; 
v. 17. But if thine heart turn awav, fo that thou wilt not hear, 
iha't be drawn awav, and worfhip other Gods, and fervc 
v.; v. 18. I denounce unto you this day that ye fhall furely 
ui, and that ye fhall not prolong your days upon the land, 
whither thou pafleti over Jordan, to go to pofLfs it. Upon fche 
ie we may learn that the temporal felicity of the Jews y 
-nded upon their mcral righteoufnefs; and in cafe of a fai- 

Let. 13. I 3-8 ) 

lure here, or in ra r e of backiliding and apoilacy from that rrghtc- 
oufnefs, nothipg but an awful f( cue of the mod di<mal calamites 
and mifepes, even temporal death was to he the confequenee. 
And observe S T, p<'rhu.;, there is no mote either threatned or pro- 
mifed in this chapter now under confideration : And no other 
rightcouinefs fpoken of here, but what any may he pofTeiTed of, 
and yet may !ofe, and eventually perifh. 1 hat that rightrouf- 
nefs which i.; the ground or' eterna 1 \\ft 9 is net fu'pended upon 
l& the creature, I have (you know) elfewhrre prcven : 
And hecaufc it is not fo, it cm not be loft. Nothing 1 think 
but the moll unbounded attachment to a party; and the 
moil inveterate prejudice to a favourite fyfrem could tempt any 
one to explain the terms life and death, of eternal life and death, 
and fufpend the ground and rea'on of our no ffe fling eternal life 
upon the footing of the moral righteoufnefs of the finful creature. 
I am fure Superbus, you would not wifh that your title to eternal 
life was fufpeuded upon fuch a precarious footing. If, by the per- 
formance of the duties here mentioned was to give us a claim to 
eternal life, then let us blot the name of Jefus out of the f acred 
records: Let us no longer rejoice in him as J'hovah our righ- 
teoufnefs: Let us no longer glory in that endearing name, Savi- 
our: But rather let us glory in this, (inftead of glorying in 
ChriiVs crofs) that by the deeds of the law we fhal! be faved. 

We are here told that if the righteous turn from his righteouf- 
nefs he fhal i furely die. Arc we not told of many of ChriiVs 
Pifciples who fojfook him, of others who concerning the faith 
made fhlp wreck ; alio of Simon Magus who once believed, and 
ye,r afterwards was found in the gall of bitternefs and bond of 
iniquity. Allow me to obferve here Svperbvs, that the term faith 
is very often taken in the New Teftament for an external pro- 
fcflion of the faith. Gal. i. 33. But they had heard only that 
he which had perfecuted us in times part, now preacheth the faith 
which once h<: deftroyed. There has been nothing more com- 
men in all pe iods of the church than for hypocrites and formal 
profeifors to make (hip wreck of the faith, i. e. of their profefli- 
on of it : Ami for Chuff's reputed Difciples to forfake him, when 
a Ariel' adherence to their profeflion would expofe them to perfe- 
ction; or run counter to their deep-rooted prejudices; or thwart 
their carnal fchemes, and prove detrimental to their fecuiar inte- 
rcfts. But, 

There is all the difference in the world between a hypocrite's 
ahandoni ig his profeflion, and a real believer lofing his faith. 
They went out from us, (fays the beloved Difciple) but they 
were not of us: For if they had been of us, they would no doubt 
have continued with us: But they went out, that they might be 


Let. 13. ( 329 ) 

made maniM ^hat they were not all of us. 4- This intimites 
fe Apoftates once made a joint profeffion of re ; A 
alone; w : 'b the ApofHes, and other real believers, for (favb he} 
th^r wont out from us. But Secaufe they had no more than a 
bare profeih -n <- ey eafily, and foon abandoned i€. 

For iftbev had l ^een poffeffed of the fame Faith with thr r e -rni!- 
ine chrift'-an believers, the*f would ha f . e cont : nued with them. 
They had nothing to iofe, hut what m'-ot he eafily loi>: Thry 
■"'anted that divine principle of fiaitfl wh :< h could only nVength- 
tn and eftaMifh their hea-rs in the tru M -, as it is in Jefus. 

How often are many weak, bo* real chriflians non-p'uffed 
when they heboid Tome, who m iefpe& of knowledge, zeal and 
fcr.vardnefs in their profeflion far outstripped them, yea, were 
the head and mould?" s above them; and yet after all turned their 
back on their profeffion, and apoftatized from the truth. — Let 

.1 believers consider, that the feed low n among thorns was 
cafilv, and foon choaked; and that fewn in ftony places, grew 
up fafr, hut was foon fcorched.— 'There is no danger of ChritVs 
D ciples being left to for'ake him, or make fhip-wreck of faith 
and a g.^od conscience. Indeed, all things confidered, it- is a 
wonder how hypocrites hold out lb long as oftentimes we fee they 
do: There is io little in religion external'v coi:ftdered, to attract 
the attention, or command the affections of any, but a genuine 

Happv my dear friend is it for real chriftian*, who conftantly 
experience fo great a pronen^fs to hac'^ii'-de, that the fafery of their 
eternal ftate doth not depend on their frames, or conduct, hut on 
tfeai (ovulation which ' \ btc and t'uie. And notwithftand- 

ing of the awful of lome, perhips eminent profeflbrs, 

" the foondaooo of God rtandeth fure, having this feal, the 
. r .o-d kn-'uveth them w! rj are his." They (hall be as afiuredlv 
cept as the leven I i in Krae 1 from hvving the knee to Ba- 

li Would it not be exceeding httiL coipf^rt for a believer to 
Tear of a foundation, a fure foundation laid in Zion for them to 
build on for eternal Salvation? f after all, they might be blown 
effit; or it fink under them, and they penfh in the gulph of 

cndlcfs mifery ? Doth God y z\z care for the brutal part of 

tie creation ? Doth he feed and clothe, and preserve them ? And 
vill he not much more by his grace and providence, fee to the 
preservation, and eternal well-being ot thole holy and humble 
fouls, who have fled for rcfuere to the hope fet before them ? Will 
he not preferve them through faith unto complete and eternal 
fakation, who have committed this important trufl: into his hand ? 
Let the fowler ufc his utmoft endeavour, let him exert all his 

+ 1 John ii. 9. 

Let. 13. ( 330 ) 

ffrength and (kill, yet not a fparrow {hall fall to the grounr, 
without the will or our heavenly Father. The fame all-ovcr-iul- 
ing providence which determines that fuch a fparrow fhall not- 
fell;; determines alio to prevent that which might caufe it fall : 
And therefore,, either the fowler (hall not find it, or the fparrow 
fell difeern his approach and make his efcape; or if he fhoot and 
wound,, he fliall not kill. Obferve the language of the royal 
FTalmifl: on this head, thou haft thurft fore at me that I might 
fell r: But (he adds) my Lord helped me.f An infpired pro- 
phet ufes the fame confident language: Rejoice not againft rr.e 
Omine enemy, though I fall, I fliall arife again; when I fit in 
darknefs,. the Lord (hall be a light unto me. j 

What a comfortable reflection my dear friend,, in views of en- 
countering the king of terrors, in walking through the dark val- 
ley and fhadow of death> to be aiTured that he who hath begua 
the good work, will alfo finifh it., f.* He hath made, and he will 
bear." He will guide his people with his counfel, and will aflu- 
redly Bring them to glory. Nothing fhall ever be able to ft pa - 
Kite them from the love of God ; or caufe him to change his 

love,, break his covenant, or violate his oath.r Happv art thou 

0'Ifrael, who is like unto thee, O people faved by the Lord/th? 
jQiield of thy help, and who is the fword of thy excellency 1 and 
Chine: enemies fball be found liars unto thee,, and thou (halt tread 
upon) their high places. $ 

Onefwus, I have juft to add, that a line came to my hand re- 
queuing my returning home without delay ; this broke up our 
conversation for the prefent. Accordingly, I with relu&ancc 
left my dying friend for the prefent j;but engaged* (Ord willing 
to return the next day. What converfation may take place 11 
ournext interview, I fliall not fail in communicating to you — 
In the mean time, that my Oneftmus my be preferved by the 
power of God through faith unto falvatioa, is the earned with, 
and fervent prayer of his 


/ E T- 

*# Pfaf. cxviii. 13. X Micah yii, 8, § Dsut. xxxiji. 29 


Let. 14. ( 331 ) 

P H I L E M O N to O N E SI M U S. 

Dear Onefimuc, 

yOUR kij>d favour came fafe to my hand: And I have now 
* to inform yen, that according to my promife 1 waited on 

my dying friend, on the day (had fixed- He is exceedingly 

weak ' f the clay-tabernacle is faft mouldering down to its prims- 
tive earth. " Dud thou art, and to the dufr. thou (halt return," 
-■L* among the firft lefTons taught our firft parents immediately af- 
ter their fatal revolt from their gracious Sovereign; and through 
all Succeeding a res death hath pa (Ted upon all their natural off- 
fpring hecaufe they alt, by reprefentation, and in their own per- 
fons have finned . ■ Superbus is quite fen'fible that in a few days 
he muft fleepin the dull, from whence he ihall not return, until 
the Heavens be no more— O ! may he lleep in Jcfus- O! 
•.may that cold and filent grave prove a bed of reft to his weari- 
ed, and emaciated body. May his precious and immortal foul 
be earned by the Angels into the ceieftia) paradife, and enrolled 

^moAg the number or the Spirits of jufl iwzn made perfect. - 

,After infiftmg a little on the nature and prevalence of his disor- 
der, andthe impofiibUfty of his holding out much longer, confi- 
d^ring the debilitated ftate of his frame, and rapid growth of the 
-tfifiuf?; he addr. ifed me after the foPowing manner 

<* My dear Phi' ?mov 9 you have removed a(i my doubts; and 
** as an inftrmr.cnt in the hand of a kind and gracious provi- 
** dence, have pointed day-light into my darkened and benight- 
" ed mind, re r pee?ting this important, and felf-intereftmg quefti- 
•♦' on, 'how a man h to be juftt&eti in the fight of an iiJinitely 
-* c holy and juft God; and in the ;lTne obtain the c nd of his 

" faith, the Salvation of his foul 1 cheerfully ac^u'Cice in, 

*' and cordially embrace this gracious aud Itemgri device of 
" Heaven, in bringing many fons aid daughters to glory- by 
*. the propitiatory and vicarious obed'.ence of the Captain of our 
** fai*at :ii My heait's defire and prayer to God is, that my 
** fins may be pardoned, my perfon and fer vices accepted upon 
' the fole footing of the finlefs and perfect obedience, and molt 

* ( exquifite 

Let. 14. ( 33: ) 

4C exquifitc fufferings of the one Mediator.—-" God forbid 
" that I fhould glory in any thin*; elfe, lave .n the crofs of our 
" Lord Jefus Chrift." My fole confidence is in " Jehovah my 
<e righteoufnefs and my ftrength." Since I have feen the glory 
ts of his perfon, and the perfection of his atonement, " the 
*' fhadow of death is turned into the morning " I now no long- 
" er view the laft enemy armed in all his horror ; nor the pra^e, 
" that irkfome dreary place, as I once did. 1 can triumphantly 
€t fine:, " O death, where is thy fting, O grave, where is thy 
" vi&ory." •* I know that my Redeemer liveth 1" And that 
" he (hall ranfom me from the power of the grave, and will re- 
" deem me from death. 

f€ Ever (ince the commencement of our acquaintance, you 
'• have expreflTed a more than ordinary concern about thv eter- 
" nal intcrells of my foul; you have followed me with vour fa- 
** lutary inftru&ions, and friendly advice, almofi: to the very 
'*■ brink of the grave. I hope, while this fluttering foul con) 

" tinues in this clay-tabernacle you will not fupercede your 
ft conusant attendance, nor remit your ufual diligence in in- 
" ftrucYing, comforting, and ftrengthenin? my mind in the good 

" ways of God. There is yet one article, concerning which 

te I would with for further information ; 1 mean CHfffls'fuprfmb 
" Deity. You know, that you have all along rather taken this 
*• for granted than directly proven it. This I dcnYe, not that I 
tc am in any hesitation about the doctrine; hut I wifh to have 
ff fome objections which I have heard rai'ed againft it, anfwer- 
ts ed ; and the truth of it from Scripture elucidared : And if my 
" ftrength permit, I will fairly propofe the objections, .ind I 
" hope you will be as candid and ingenuous, as to give a fair 
" and an impartial folution." 

My dear friend, you may believe me, that I would think it my 
honour as well as my duty, to^e the happy inirrunient of contri- 
buting in the leaft degree to the confirmation of your faith and 
belief in this, or any other article of our holy religion; and par- 
ticularly fuch as have an immediate connexion with, and a par- 
ticular influence in the eternal falvation of our fouls. 

" Philemon, I have often heard it (aid that the doclrine of 
'*■ ChriiVs fupreme deity, is rather of the fpecuiative than practi- 
4C cal kind: And that it is fo exceedingly difficult and obfeure, 
" that the generality of men cannot understand the terms in 
" which itisexpreiTed; and therefore, that it would be far bet- 
4t ter not to intermeddle in it, nor infitt'upon it : And indeed to 
" acknowledge the truth, this in a great meafure hindered me 
" from putfuing this fubject with that carefulnefs and diligence 


Let. 14. ( 333 ) 

V which I mould have done, and the nature of the fubject re- 
" quired." 

Superbus, [apprehend none will look upon this article of our 
faith to he a matter of little or no confequence, nor applaud thofe 
wife and prudent men, who upon all occafions induftrioufly fhift 
the theme, hut fuch, who are indifferent a k out viral religion 
and real godlinefs, in any point of view: And fhould the un- 
meaning cavils of perfons of fuch a (lamp deter you, or any one 
from making a fcriptural inquiry into the conftitution of the 
Mediator, the Saviour, " by whofe ftripes we are healed;" and 
through whofe fufferings we have redemption, even the forgive- 
nefs of our fins? But granting this article was a point purely 
fpeculative, if it be a divine truth, and capable of being proven 
from the holy Scriptures, you, and every one elle miWl a rree 
with me in this, that it ought to be believed, and if God requires 
our afTent even to a merely fpeculative doctrine, he has reafon 
for it ; and in this cafe, how dare any be fo bold and prefumptu- 
ous as contradict him. "But befides this, the affertion is not 
true ; the fupreme deity of Chrifl is by no means a matter of 
mere theory, but in a great meafure practical. Did the Eternal 
Son of God aflume human nature with a view to deliver from 
the guilt, and cleanfe from the pollution of fin ; and doth not the 
confederation of this tend to practife ? Doth it not fhow clearly 
as in a glafs, the exceeding evil and malignity of fin, which made 
fuch a propitiation necefTary ? This it doth beyond any 'other 
argument whatever. If ever you would wifh to obtain a view of 
(in in all its enormity and bafenefs, you muft repair to mount 
Calvary, and there behold the Son of God fuflfering, bleeding, 
and dying for its expiation ? And if ever we would raife in our 
own fouls, or infufe into the minds of our fcllow-finners, a iuft 
indignation againfl this vile and abominable thing, we mud lock 
to Je'us who endured the crofs, and defpifed the fhame, to put an 

end to fin, and to bring in an everlafting righteoufnefs. 

Viewing fin in this glafs, and through this medium, will, \ou 
may credit me, be infinitely more efficacious for the deilru&ion 
of fin in our fouls, than ail the thunders from Sinai's flaming 
mount ; or the collected examples from thofe who aie r cckcned 
virtuous heathens; yea, than from all the examples of the moft 
pious and holy men recorded in the divine oracles. What is the 
reafon that iniquity of every kind is rearing up ; ts r.ccurfed fore- 
head without a blufh ? This is one great and principal reafon, the 
denial of ChritVs divinity, and of confequence, his propitiatory 
and vicarious fufferings : And hence the main and moft efficaci- 
ous argument for all manner of holinefs of life and converfation, 
is loft in the rubbilh ©f doctrines little fuperior, and of as little 


Let. 14- ( 334 ) 

*aJue to anfwer thepurpofe ofunivcrfal holhicfs, as heathen mo- 
rality. But, 

.That the doctrine of Chrift's fupreme deity is not purely mat- 
ter of theory, bat in a great meafure practical will appear, and 
in connexion with what was juft now obfervtd ; that if there was 
fuch a malignity in fin that nothing elfe, ana nothing left, than 
the fufferings of Chrift could expiate; it teaches us alfo at the 
fame time, that if we do not lay hold on this redemption we are 
loft for ever, becaufe it is imporlibl • there mould be any greater* 
How hazardous a venture muft they run, who depreciate h 
rious dignity,, and thus undermine in as far as pofliMy they can 
that foundation which God hath laid in Zion, for £tiners to iuild 
on for eternal falvatiou ? How can they be fecure of that lift- and 
immortality he hath brought to light by the goTpel, wh.le they 
renounce that faith which, according to that gofpel is neceflary 
to- it? And how difmal and irretrievable muft :heir difappoint- 
ment be at the laft, when they come to appear before his awful 
and dreadful tribunal, if after all, Chift mould prove to \ e the 
ruoft High God, and mould reject them for rej cting him under 
that character now, contrary to his plain revelation of it, and 01 
its vaft importance toourfelvesr Can it be a matter of pure theo- 
ry, how we are to be faved ? Whether by the infinite dignity 
and efficacy of the furety, or by the " filthy rags" of our own 
righteoufnefs.— — *-Let us fuppofe for once, that thofe who be- 
lieve the divinity of Jefus expected more from him, and his righ- 
teoufnefs than what he will really anfwer-; yet ftill they have as 
much from him as they who expected lefs than they did : And 
they have moreover the fame perfonal righteoufnefs to truft in, 
as well as otliers have. And undoubtedly it will be no blemila 
m their righteoufnefs, nor any bar to its acceptance, that it is 
overlaid with fo much humility, as to make them own it to be 
wholly of God, and utterly renounce all truft and confidence in 
it. But if it mould prove at the great day of accounts, that fal- 
vation becomes ours no otherwife than through the infinitely per- 
fect righteoufnefs of the Saviour God and man ; what a dange- 
rous cafe muft they be in, who have never received or trufted in 
him as fuch, and wil! never have the benefit of his atonement and 

fatisfa£tion to anfwer for them. 1 think if men are nor entirely 

loft to all fenfe of religion, and perfectly indifferent with regard 
to the prefent and future intereft of their precious and immortal 
fouls, they can never appear as advocates for the non-importance 
of this point, or reckon it a matter of mere indifference whether 
Chrift the Mediator appear to them in the character of the true 
God, or only a creature. 


Let. 14. ( 335 ) 

But further, will it not appear that this point is by no tneam 
a matter of mere theory, when we take into the account the re- 
ligious worfhip that is paid to Chrift. It is to be expeded that 
the generality of chriftiansare not fo far loft to all fenfe of religi- 
on as to reftrain prayer before God : To fuch who are habitually 
guilty of a neglect of this part of religious worfhip, it will be a 
matter of no great moment, whether they confider the Mediator 
to be God equal with the Eternal Father, or a creature formed 
by his Aim ghty hand. I fay then if the Son, (and I may add 
here) the Holy Ghoft be God ; ought they not to be honoured, 
adored, prayed to, and glorified as fuch r If they be not God, 
ought they to be honoured, adored, prayed to, and glorified as 
fuch ? If they be not, the believers of this doctrine are in the 
ftrid fenfe of the word idolators, becaufe they worfhip an object 
which is not by nature God. Again, if they be God, the op- 
pofers of this fyftem, and onpugners of this doctrine are blafphc- 
mers. Nay all the A.'ians, and thofe of the Socinians> who pay 
divine honours to Chrift, (for they are divided on that point.) 
are in a moll miferable dilemma upon thisfubject. If Chrift: fhe 
Mediator be God ; they are guilty of blafphemy for denying hk 
divinity: If he be not God, they are idolators for worftiipping 
a creature: And if the true worfhip of God, and idolatry, Te- 
cogniz:ng him on the one hand, and blafpheming on the other, 
be not practical points, I freely acknowledge I know not what 
are. Bu: 1 Trial! explain myfelf more fully to you on this head 
in its proper place. 

1 inall juft add here, that that can be no purely fpeculative 
f omt in which our faith is fo much concerned. Is it a matter of 
no moment whether our faith be fixed on the Saviour as *' die 
true God, and eternal life," or only as a made God, cr cimere 
crtature? I maintain that without a true faith, there can be no 
irue chriftian pra&ife. The adveriaries of CbriiVs fepreme deity 
value themfelves upon their- high encomium* of morality, or a 
good life; as if none but they had any regard to it. Silt tftfl 
do they not inculcate chriftian -pra&ife, wtirle they dmy tfte 
chriftian faith? Whar, to fecure the fuperftru&ure, by under- 
filming, and digging up the foundation 1 Doth it not appear 
evidently throughout the whole of the .New Teftanient, that a 
right mith is as neceflary to faivation, as a rigin practifc ? Nay, 
that without the former, there cannot be the latter : Or, (if yon 
pleafe) in a large fenfe, prafitife includes faith. And I prelum*, 
if we carefully confult the fame Scriptures of truth, we will find 
that the beft of out morality is unavailable without the merits of 
Jefus Chrift : And that the atonement and fatisfa&ion or Jefus 
cannot be of any fervice to us, unlets we* have a true faith in 


Let. 14- ( 356 ) 

him; and that we cannot have a true faith in him, unlefs we 
believe him to be the true an I Eternal God, as I mall fhow you 

As to the other prejudice you mentioned againfl: treating; on 
this fubje&, viz. that it is exceeding difficult, and even unin- 
telligible, especially to the unlearned and common peopl.\ 

I have already fhown you, that the doctrine is important, and 
mall endeavour afterwards to (how that it is true: And certainly 
that which is important, and capable of being proven to be true, 
can never be lo difficult as to be incapable of being understood. 
It is very true, that the mod learned will never be able to com- 
prehend the mvftery; but even the unlearned, and the common 
people are capable of apprehending- enough to yield the obedience 
of faith to the article: And indeed the dodrine of the Trinity is as 
intelligible as the d ;&rine of God's omni'cience, omniprefence, 
eternity, fimplicity, and felf-exiftence. Is not the whole nature 
of God infinitely beyond the grafpofthe mofr. enlarged capacity ? 
And yet we all profefs our faith and belief in this ever-glorious, 
and firft caufe. How fuhlime and myfterious is the doctrine 1 
A being which neither made itfelf, nor was made by any other ; 
a firfl: caufe, without a beginning; infinite without extenfiqn ; 
in every place, yet circumfcribed in no place; eternally and 
perpetually exifting, without any fucceffion of time; a prefent, 
without pail: or future ! &c. 

" Philemon, I would wiffi to know what are the particular te- 

ft nets which the Srttmam and Arians hold." It would be a 

very difficult tafk Superbus, to point out the various antifcriptural 
pofitions which arefcattered here and there in their writings; and 
perhaps it would be very unfair to charge the Socinians in grols 
with all the abfurd tenets maintained by fome of them. The 
Socinians according to a very eminent writer f maintain a plura- 
lity of Gods; (this I will mow you afterwards) they undermine 
the authority of the Holy Scripture. They deny not only the 
imputation, but the contagion and corruption of original fin ; 
the fatisfa&ion of Chrifl ; the eternity of future punifhments, nay 
the certainty of any future puniffiment at all. They maintain 
that God is not angry with men for their fins; and that Jefut 
Chrift did not come into the world to redeem it. They advance 
human reafon above divine revelation; and affirm that nothing 
is to be admitted into religion as the object of our belief which ex- 
ceeds the reach cf our undemanding. They teach that God is 
not infinite in his efifence, but confined to the Heavens: That 
he is not omnifcicnt, but limited in his knowledge; particularly, 


t Dr. Edward's prefervative againft Socinianifm. 

Let- 14. { 337 ) 

that he is ignorant of future events. They moreover teach usy 
that God is mutable, or fubjeft to change ; that he has the fame 
paflions as we have; and finally, that he is material, or made up 

of bodily parts. -Thefe pofitions are certainly as abfurd as they 

are impious; and as contrary to reafoh, as they are to revelation. 
As for the Arians, they agree with the Socinians in degrading the 
Son of God to the rank of a creature: Although they differ in 
this, that the former look upon him as the Srft ^ and moft excellent 
creature the Almighty formed; whereas the latter maintain that 
he never exifted prior to his conception in the womb of the Vir 
gin Mary. Arians join hands with Socinians in denying the 
infinite merit* and atonement of Jefus; and coulecr/jeritiy if ever 
we are fayed* we inuil be our own Saviours. They are both unani- 
mous in th ; s, that the death of Chrifl: was neither propitiatory, 
nor vicarious. Arians tell us that the' Holy Ghoft is the crea- 
ture of the Son, and fubfervient to him in the work of the creati- 
on : While fomeof the Socinians deny his perfonality altogether, 
and look upon him only as the power and wifdom of God. Ari- 
ans look upon the Holy Ghofl: tobeaperfon chief of the heavenly 
Spirits, prime minder of God and Chrifl:; and deny that he is to 
he worshipped, glorified, or prayed to. f They teach us that our 
Saviour's eternal generation is a mere romance, the contrivance 
of fome idle triffling perfon who had little elfe to do, but to invent 

fuch incredible and abfurd notions- 1 may jufladd here, that 

it is even mocking to the human mind to confider the impious 
and abominable praclxes of the Arian Bijbops, when that faction 
was countenanced by the fecular power: Efpecially Eujebhrr of 
Nicomedia, and George of Alexandria. How was that excellent 
and pious man Athanaftus calumniated, and periecuted by them: 
Banilhed, and hunted from place to place ; accufed of the molt 
horrid crimes, treafon, murder, magic, &c . But air thefe accu - 
fations were difproven by, fuch clear and inconteftable evidence, 
(hat even their malice and power made his innocence and virtue 
fhine the brighter; particularly, as to the charire of murder the 
perfon upon whom it was pretended to have been committed be- 
ing produced alive in open court. \ At th »t peri d, and in main- 

t See the Athanafian Creed analyzed and refuted. ■■ Aifo Mr. 
Charles Leilie on the Socinian cor.troverfy. Dikl. 4. 

\ Upon the appearance of Arfenius, (the perfon fuppofed to have 
been murdered, and whofe hand he had cut off) Athanaftus addrefled 
;he court thus; Gentlemen, Arftnius you fee has both his hands, but, 


Let. 14. ( 338 ) 

tenance and defence of that herefy, chriftian Wood was fpilt like 
water, by Arians, Heathens and Jczuf, a&ing in conjunction : 
Yea, great numbers of all ages, and both fexes, were maflacred 
and butchered by them, even in the churches, and in time of di- 
vine fervice. The Arian perfecution againft the Orthodox, was 
as bloody, if not more fo, than ever any of the heathen perfecti- 
ons had been. 

" Can you inform me Philemon, of the circumftances of Arius 
'■ death; I have often heard, that he died in an extraordinary 
" manner." 

He did Superbus, in fuch a particular and extraordinary man- 
ner that I think without breach of charity, it may be affirmed 
that the immediate hand, and jufl: judgment of God, were vifi- 
ble in it : And that the God to whom vengeance, and the vindi- 
cation of the true religion belong, did by the death of this man 
declare his abhorrence of the herefy. It was when he was in the 
very height of his profperity and greatnefs, that he met with his 
tragical end. Alexander Bilhop of Conjlantinople received an exprefs 
order from the Emperor to receive Arius into communion ; the 
Bilhop abfolutely refufed to obey the comraan-i; and (hutting 
himfelf up in the church the night before, proftrated himfelf at 
the altar, implored Almightv God to take the matter into his 
own hand. || The next morning Arius going to the church at- 
tended by his followers in great pomp and triumph, was upon a 
neceffity of rfature forced to turn afide out of his way, where his 
lpirtts fuddenly failing him, the fate of treacherous Judas became 
his portion, he fell head-long and burft afunder in the midfl:, and 
immediately expired. His friends all the while impatiently ex- 
pected his return ; and flaying longer than they thought he 
fhoufd, fome went to call him, and Eufebius more forward than 
the, reft,, reproached his backwardnefs and neglect both of himfelf, 
and his friends; but hearing no anfwer, they went in and found 


re the third hand that was cut off, I leave my accufers to difcover. 
Dr. Cave's life of Athanafius. 

II Dr. Cave gives the form of prayer ufed on this occafion by the 
Fi'h >p which was to the following purpofe ; " if, Lord, thou permitteft 
*' Arius to communicate to morrow, fuffer me thy ferwnr to depart, 
44 and detlroy not the righteous with the wicked. But if thou fpareft 
44 thy church, as I know thou wilt, have refpett to the rhreatnings of 
M the Eujebian party, and give not over thine heritage to ruin and re-» 
" proach. Take JYtus out of the way, left entering into the church, 
44 herefy enter in with him j and hereafter piety and impiety be ac- 
44 counted both alike." Thus he prayed, and Heaven heard his pray- 
er, and figned a warrant for the execution. 

Let. 14. ( 339 ) 

him wallowing in his own filth and blood. Nor is it to be won- 
dered, (as one remarks, J) that he who denied our Saviour as to 
his divine nature, mould not feel a lefs heavy puniihment than 
he who betrayed him in his human. 

" Can vou inform me Philemon of the lineage and pedigree of 
<{ both thefe herefies." 

Yes Suferbus, they may be both eafily traced up to their foun- 
tain -h^ad and true original. The Sccimans had theirs from 
Phot inns, as he had it from Paul of Same, to. The herefy of Arint 
as I already told }OU is indeed different in tome rep 9$, although 
thev a~ree in this, that they deny the Son, or fecond perlon of 
the Trinity to be confubftantial with the Father Cr.rt cerates, 
Ebion, Cenntkus, and many more maintained this berejfy, prior 
to any of thefe above-mentioned. And to what (e& did thefe 
belon"? ? Why, to the moll wild, enthufiaftical, Ica&h atitl n all 
refpec~h diabolical fed of the Gnofiickf, who were the t .iples 
of Simon Magus. Therefore to rrace the pedigree of r hole fcere- 
fies upwards to their original , they pafs through Soc.': s, Pboti- 
7ius, and Ariia, -to Paul ok. Sa-nofeta ; from him to El..?:, Crin- 
, CirpQcratesy Sec. and To on to Simon the forcerer the firft 
broacher, and renowned father of herefy. -f 

Permit me now Superbus, to propofe a few arguments in order 
to the further eifcniiftting of your mind in this important article 
of our holy reiigion. And the firft that I fh ill mention is ta- 
ken from that namefo often afcribed toChrift in Scripture, the Son, 
the only bevoiten Son of God: .And his being: thu c fo called, I 
would conclude that he is confubfiamial, or of the fame effence 
with the Father. That he is the Son, the only, the oriy h^rot- 
ten Son of God cannot be denied. He that belicveth on him, 
(are the words of our Saviour himleif, is net condemned ; but 
he that believcth not is condemned already, becaufe he beiieveth 
not in the name of the only begotten Scm cf God. He that- beiiev- 
eth not the Sen, fhall not fee life. But thefe are written thst ye 
might believe that Jefus is the Chrift, the Son of God, and that 
believing ye mipht have life throueh his r.^me. $ 

From thefe Scriptures we are taught this among other things, 
that this do&rine is not a purely fpeculative point. Eternal life 


t Dr. Trapp's Sermons on die Trinity. 

t Vide Hieron. Zanchius de tribus Elohim. Pag. 2. 

$ John iii. 18. <v. 36, Chap. xx. 31. 

Z 2 

Let. 14. ( 340 ) 

is referred to our believing in the name of the only begotten Son 
of God. Now, thev who believe that his being, called the Son, 
and the only begotten Son of God, becaufe contubftantial with 
the Father, place their falvation in him as thus co-equal with 
him in all the eflential perfe&ions of deity: And that he in the 
fulnefs of time, aflumed the human nature, and in that, obeyed, 
fuffered and died; put an end to fin, and brought in an ever- 
lafting righteoufnefs, imputable to all who believe for their puri- 
fication. Arians again, they believe in his name for eternal life, 
as fome fupcr-angelic creature, the firft of the handy- works of the 
almighty. Socinians believe in him for eternal life y only as a 
Cod by office: And that fo far from being Eternal, or firft creat- 
ed, that he never exifted until his conception in the womb of 
the Virgin Mary.— What an immenfe difference between the 
faith of thefe believers ! Upon what a different footing muff they 
wear the crown in glory 1 

That Chrift being called the only begotten Son of God, proves 
him to be God co-eternal, and co-eq^al with the Father in all 
the eiTential perfections of deity, from the import and propriety 
of the phrafe itfelf; — and from all thofe places of Scripture it* 
which the term only begotten is applied to him —Hear his own 
words on this head: " God fo loved the world that he gave his 
only be^r^en Son, that whofoever believeth in him," &c. Now 
if the term only begotten Son doth not imply mud* more than 
either the Socinians pretend, or wilt admit ;• yea, if it doth nor im- 
ply Godhead in the nri&eft and higheft fenfe, then the argu- 
ment urged by our Lord and his Apoftlea, will be found to be in- 
conciufive, and vain ; and God by thus giving and fending his 
Son, ihowed more love to him, than to the world. I prove what 
1 have juft now advanced thus ; if he who is catted Chrift is by 
the mere good pleafure of the Father fo highly honoured, that af- 
ter a fhort life of obedience and fuffering here on earth, he is made 
a (jftdi receives divine honours, not only from men, but from 
Angels, and Archangels, and univerfal empire and dominion 
over all creatures in Heaven and earth granted him. Do you 
not fee Suptrhu, that according to this fcheme, that God's love 
to Chrift role far fuperior to his love to the world r To which I 
may alfo nod, that for the fame reafon, that Chrift's love to a 
guilty world in coming to obey, and fuffer in their fread doth not 
appear fo very extraordinary, and doth not defer ve the magnifi- 
cent character it bears in Scripture ; becaufe, upon the Sccinian 
and Arian hypothecs, he himfclf was the greateft gainer. It 
would have been indeed an a& of great and undeferved love to 
have faved fuch vile and execrable finners as we are, by any 
means becoming God's Infinite wifdom, jufticeandholinefs: And 


Let. 14. ( 341 ) 

certainly that love would have commanded the higheil admira- 
tion, and would have been deferving of our higheft praife, in giv- 
ing up to the death fuch an excellent creature as Arions fuppofc 
Chntf to be: if the death of fuch a creature could have furcbafedfai- 
vaiion. But what would that love have been to the love of God, 
in freely giving up to the death fuch an infinitely great, and glo- 
rious perron as his beloved and only begotten Son, who is con- 
lubftantial with himtelf. And if Chrift had been merely a crea- 
ture, however excellent, he might have got fuch glory and ad- 
vantage to himfelf, by his humiliation and death, as would have 
made it infinitely worth his while, for his own interenVs fake to 
be born, fuffer, and die : He might have been a real gainer by a 
death from which he was to be raifed to fuch degrees of glory and 
honour, as are the confequences of it. Therefore whatever en- 
comiums the Scriptures pafs on ChriiPs love to us, ytt according 
to the Arian and Socinian fcheme what he did and fuffered was 
really for his own advantage, he was truly the gainer.— 3ut 
let us confider Jefus in another point of view, as the true God, 
becaufe the only begotten Son of God, and 10 infinitely glorious 
and blefTcdin himfclf, to which nothing can be added; and fo he 
, can get nothing by all that he hath done and fuffered for us, or 
by all that we can do in return for his love ; no real accefllon of 
glory, or advantage can by any means be made to him, who is 
exalted in himfelf '* above all blefling and praife." Upon this 
principle then, and this only, doth God's love to finners in fend- 
ing, and ChrifVs love in coming to do and fuffer, appear tran- 
fcendent and amazing, as it is every where in Scripture faid to 
be: And upon this principle only, will the argument urged by 
our Lora and his Apoilles letting forth the love of both the Fa- 
ther and the Son as non-fuch, be found conclufive. 

Again, that his being the only begotten Son of God proves him 
to be con.ubftantial, or of the fame nature and c {Fence with the 
Father, will appear From the very import of the phrafe iticli. For 
he aione can be catted the only begotten Son who is folely and Sing- 
ly the Son of his Father, has no co-partner in the.Son-fhip, no 
brother in that k::,d of filiation or Son-mip; and moreover who 
is a S">n by i^ure, not by adoption, of the fubftance, and not by 
the choice, or mere *;ood will of the Father: That this is the plain 
meaiung of only becotten is evident of itfelf, an